NSW Independent Planning Commission chair Professor Mary O'Kane says the commission will "work hard" to speed up decisions after a bungled Hunter mine approval announcement on Friday that has prompted a review of its operations.
But the commission remained committed to "open, transparent and procedurally fair" processes, Professor O'Kane said in a statement after the commission's on-again, off-again approval of the Rix's Creek South coal mine expansion led to further mining industry condemnation after the Bylong coal mine was refused in September.
"Since taking up as Chair last year I have been conscious of the need for significant change in the way the commission operates. We have been on a process of continuous improvement," she said.
Retraction of an incorrect approval announcement about the Rix's Creek proposal on Friday showed "we still have more to do", Professor O'Kane said.
"The minister has made it clear to me that he wants planning decisions made as quickly as possible. I hear what the minister says. The commission will work hard to speed up its determinations."
Friday's bungle sparked outrage from the mining industry, with industry leaders condemning commission members as "chardonnay economists" responsible for a "shambolic turn of events" that threatened the undermining of foreign investment in Australia's coal industry.
Minerals Council chief executive Stephen Galilee said the Rix's Creek false "approval" was "the final proof the NSW Government needs to urgently act to take back control of its planning system".
Yancoal chief executive Reinhold Schmidt reportedly described the commission as an "unelected body driving outcomes of massive detriment to the state" that was a "sovereign risk" to NSW.
"If I had $200 million to invest in a new greenfield asset, I'd probably spend it in Colombia first, followed by Western Australia, South Africa and then Queensland. When it comes to NSW I'd chuck it in the bank because it makes more money," Mr Schmidt was reported saying.
Planning Minister Rob Stokes said he wanted the commission to "clear the decks of proposals that have been stuck in the system for too long".
But Lock the Gate spokesperson Georgina Woods criticised the lack of detail about the review and its announcement as an exclusive to a Sydney newspaper.
"The Independent Planning Commission is under a huge amount of pressure and appears to us to have a workload that is far greater than its capacities," Ms Woods said.
"The commission must navigate diabolical land use and social conflicts caused by irresponsible and narrow planning policies that are leaving the Hunter Valley with a legacy of pollution and division."
Lock the Gate called for the review's terms of reference to be released, and appealed to Mr Stokes to visit the Hunter to "meet local people to hear about the damage that is being done to our health, water resources and social fabric".
"We are caught between neglect from ministers in Sydney and a deliberate well-funded attack campaign from multi-national mining giants," she said.