THE Western Australian Government has moved to reduce red tape, improve transparency and encourage investment in the state’s resource sector the introduction of the Mining Legislation Amendment Bill.

The proposed amendments, lauded as the first step in a significant modernisation of the state’s approvals system, is divided into four key areas:

  • Facilitating environmental data release;
  • Simplifying environmental approval authorisation processes;
  • Streamlining issue of notices under the Mining Rehabilitation Fund Act 2012; and
  • Enabling recovery of Mining Rehabilitation Fund money in some circumstances.

“The resources sector is a major contributor to our economy and the flow-on benefits it provides to all West Australians is front and centre of the state government’s reform agenda,” mines and petroleum minister Bill Marmion said.

“We are introducing reforms that make it clearer, easier, and cheaper to do business in WA, whilst maintaining strict environmental standards.”

Mr Marmion hopes to attract more investment with the easing of environmental red tape and bring new jobs to Western Australia as a result.

“The bill implements recommendations of the Reforming Environmental Regulation (RER) program, which will complement future plans to strengthen the compliance framework and underpin a risk-based assessment system planned for 2014,” he said.

“Risk-based-regulation enables government to set strict environmental standards and clear expectations of industry and allows companies to manage and mitigate any risks to achieving these standards.

“This frees up our regulators from designing prescriptive conditions for each project they assess, and can instead direct their time to monitoring and enforcing compliance.

“The result will be more inspectors on the ground and a better understanding of what is actually happening in our environment.”

For more information about the RER program, click here.