The Quarry Code of Practice has been published by the Department of Primary Industries, Water and Environment. The code comprises elements for both the proposed use and development of land for extractive purposes as well as ongoing environmental management. Those elements that can be applied in a statutory sense through planning schemes will be progressively introduced in a uniform manner as part of the model planning scheme framework.
The environmental management and rehabilitation sections of the code are not in themselves legally enforceable. They are intended to encourage operators to achieve good environmental performance without the need to resort to legislative enforcement mechanisms. The provisions of the code can be enforced as Permit conditions, or by issuing Environment Protection Notices. If necessary, an Environment Protection Notice may be used to amend the conditions on an existing Permit.
The code outlines acceptable standards, though many of the clauses propose a specific standard 'unless otherwise approved'. It is important to note that where an operator is able to demonstrate that the potential environmental impacts can be managed to the satisfaction of the approval authority, appropriate site specific conditions for the operation should be applied in the Permit. Permit conditions may be subject to appeal by the operator or a member of the public who made a representation during the period of public notification of the application.
The safety section of this code is not intended to be enforced by a planning authority and is the responsibility of Workplace Standards Tasmania.
The code does not include the full detail of all statutory requirements with which quarry operators may be required to comply. Appendix 1 contains a list of legislation, Australian Standards, etc., which should be consulted for additional detail.
The purpose of this code is to document acceptable safety and environmental guidelines for quarrying, in order to:
- promote industry self regulation;
- provide information for planning authorities on the assessment and control of quarries under the Land Use Planning and Approvals Act 1993 and the Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994;
- provide the basis for uniform planning scheme standards using the model framework for planning schemes;
- further the objectives of Tasmania's Resource Management and Planning System, which seeks to provide sustainable development of Tasmania's resources;
- further the objectives of the Workplace Health and Safety Act 1995;
- provide a safe workplace environment;
- to assist in compliance with the Mineral Resource Development Act 1995 and provide an assessment standard for mining leases;
- increase general community awareness about environmental management within the industry; and
- to assist operators in the operation and rehabilitation of quarries.
The contents of this code have been agreed by Industry, Local Government and relevant State Government agencies through a consultative process which included a public comment period.