From 1 March 2014, NSW occupiers of licensed waste facilities will benefit from a 20% reduction in the levy payable on the disposal of coal washery rejects.  The new levy is $13.30 per tonne, down from $16.60.

What is the levy?

Since November 2009, each tonne of coal washery rejects that are received offsite and applied to land, have been subject to the coal washery rejects levy.

Under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997, occupiers of licensed waste facilities in NSW are required to pay a levy for each tonne of waste received. Different contributions are payable depending on the type of waste, where it was generated and the location of its disposal.

The aim of the coal washery rejects levy is to motivate the improvement of environmental management of coal waste by making the disposal more expensive, providing an incentive for mine operators to develop an alternative to disposal. 

Important change to the levy

Following 30 June 2010, the coal washery rejects levy increased to $16.60 per tonne, up from the initial rate of $15.00 per tonne.

Legislative amendments have been introduced reducing the rate of the levy payable on the dispose of coal washery rejects by 20% for occupiers of licensed waste facilities.  The amendments took effect on 1 March 2014, resulting in a significant reduction in the levy to $13.30 per tonne.

The levy applies once the coal washery rejects is received at the licensed waste facilities irrespective of when it is applied to land.


There are two general exemptions from the requirement to pay the levy, namely:

  • the Coal Washery Rejects (Coal Mine Void) Exemption 2009, and
  • the Coal Washery Rejects General Exemption 2009.

The Coal Mine Void Exemption applies if:

  • the coal washery rejects can only be applied to land to fill a coal mine void, to the original ground level
  • the application of the coal washery rejects to land must conform to an approved rehabilitation plan for the site, and
  • the application of the waste occurs within six months of receipt at the site.

The General Exemption provides that coal washery rejects which are applied to land in earthworks for civil engineering applications are exempt from certain licensing, contributions and reporting requirements.  The General Exemption does not apply to coal washery rejects that are applied to land for the purposes of mine site rehabilitation.