IF there is one thing that most Upper Hunter residents agree on it is the need for consistency in the regulation of the mining industry.
The present mix of consent conditions operating across the region's mines is not only frustrating for mining-affected communities but also the industry.
One of the best examples of this is dust management practices on windy days.
Mines operating under consents granted in the past decade are required to employ rigorous dust monitoring and air pollution control measures.
But it is well known that mines using older consents, which have more lenient conditions, can continue to operate while their neighbours are forced to wind back.
As Camberwell resident Deidre Olofsson has revealed, it is very difficult to accurately measure the cumulative impacts of blasting.
This is because not all mine approval conditions have a limit on blast numbers.
The ones that do are not always definitive.
In addition, there is no daily cumulative blast limit for the region's 15 open-cut mines.
Several industry insiders have told me that the consistent application of real-time monitoring of air quality and noise is the only way forward for the industry.
Bulga-Milbrodale Progress Association member John Krey agrees.
"When it comes to compliance, everything is about averages," he says, when it should be about the direct impact of mining on people's lives.
Community pressure has resulted in significant change in mining practices over the past five years.
The Department of Planning is correct when it says it is continually working to strengthen conditions relating to blasting and dust.
Yet inconsistencies still remain, particularly in the area of compliance.
It is not fair for some mines that are employing world's best practice to be dragged down by other mines operating on different consent conditions.