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Conference Paper

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This conference paper was originally published as Hebblewhite, B, Outcomes of the Independent Inquiry Into Impacts of Underground Coal Mining on Natural Features in the Southern Coalfield - An Overview in Aziz, N (ed), Coal 2009: Coal Operators' Conference, University of Wollongong & the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, 2009, 113-124.


An independent panel of experts was appointed in December 2006, jointly by the NSW Minister for Planning and the Minister for Primary Industries & Energy to review the current status and future implications for underground coal mining in the Southern Coalfield of NSW, with respect to its impact on natural features, particularly emphasizing risks to water flows, water quality and ecosystems; and to provide advice on best practice in regard to assessment of subsidence impacts; avoiding or minimizing adverse impacts; and management, monitoring and remediation of subsidence and subsidence-related impacts. The Panel received extensive submissions and presentations in September, 2007 before developing its findings which were reported to the Ministers and released in June 2008. A summary of the process followed by the Panel, and a discussion of the outcomes and recommendations from the Independent Inquiry, and their relevance and application across the underground coal industry in the Southern Coalfield are presented.

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