The NSW Government has appointed a Land and Water Commissioner to provide independent advice to landholders, resource companies, the community and government on mining and coal seam gas activities in the state. The Commissioner listens to community issues, facilitating greater consultation between government, community and industry. The Commissioner is a key source of information and guidance to assist landholders and communities to better understand the way that mining and gas activities are approved and regulated in NSW, and to give them a say in how things are done. The Commissioner is responsible for overseeing the finalisation of standardised land access agreements which are being developed in conjunction with key agricultural sector and mineral / petroleum industry representatives.


What is the role of the Land and Water Commissioner?

The Commissioner provides advice on:

• Exploration activities and mineral, petroleum and coal seam gas exploration development throughout the state

• Strategic Regional Land Use Policy

• Regulatory approval and assessment processes

• Compliance and enforcement matters

• Landowner rights, access agreements and compensation

• Rights and responsibilities of exploration companies


The Commissioner supports Government by:

• Responding to concerns raised in relation to current / future exploration and development activities across the state

• Generating independent advice on the impacts of current policy settings


Appointment of first Land and Water Commissioner

On 1 December 2012 the NSW Government announced the appointment of Jock Laurie as the State’s first Land and Water Commissioner.


At the time of his appointment Mr Laurie was serving as the President of the National Farmers’ Federation. Mr Laurie had held that position since 2010 following four years as President of the NSW Farmers’ Association from 2005 to 2009.


He reports directly to the Secretary of the NSW Department of Industry.


Contact details

The Land and Water Commissioner can be contacted at:


Land and Water Commissioner

Locked Bag 21

Orange NSW 2800


Phone:         (02) 6391 3429


[1]    NSW Government Fact Sheet Land and Water Commissioner (March 2013).