Majority support right to fight mining approvals

WANT the right to fight against mining? Almost nine out of 10 people in New South Wales are on your side.

A poll commissioned by Nature Conservation Council of NSW found 87% supported the view that communities should be allowed to fight coal mine approvals.

The NCC accused the NSW Government of making it harder to challenge mining approvals by cutting funding to the Environmental Defender's Office since coming to power.

The group also slammed possible changes to the government approval process, which the NCC felt would relax the regulations.

NCC chief Pepe Clark said communities wanted the ability to challenge government decisions, something that would be at risk by these changes.

"Unfortunately, the government is attempting to put that option out of the reach of most ordinary citizens."

But Planning Minster Brad Hazzard's office said any changes to mining planning were yet to reach Parliament.

A spokesman said the new system kept the ability for objections to be made against "high-impact" projects.

Mr Hazzard defended his history as Planning Minister, saying he had not approved any private projects.

He said the NSW Government had already restricted the role ministers play in approving or rejecting developments.

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