Coal miners to cop subsidence damage fee

Dominica Sanda

For the first time in NSW, coal mine operators will be accountable for any subsidence damage they cause after changes to legislation were passed in parliament.

Under the new changes, rather than paying a levy to a compensation fund which previously freed coal mine operators from any liability arising from substance damage, they will be directly accountable for any subsidence they cause.

"The reforms make coal miners financially and socially accountable for the damage caused by their operations," Property Minister Victor Dominello said in a statement on Tuesday.

"They also ensure a fairer system, where coal miners will pay according to the level of their subsidence impacts."

The peak regulatory body for mine subsidence compensation in NSW, Subsidence Advisory NSW, will establish a new case management system where individual case managers are assigned to property owners to ensure they are treated fairly during the compensation process.

A panel of independent experts will assess all claims and strict time frames will apply to process claims and compensate affected property owners.

SA NSW will have the power to initiate disciplinary action against coal mine operators that are not doing the right thing by claimants, making it a fairer system that benefits property owners, Mr Dominello said.