08/09/2009 - 15:31

Govt defends reforms to approvals

08/09/2009 - 15:31

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The state government has defended its approach to reforming the approvals system in the resources sector following a survey identifying Western Australia as a high risk for resources industry investment.

Govt defends reforms to approvals

The state government has defended its approach to reforming the approvals system in the resources sector following a survey identifying Western Australia as a high risk for resources industry investment.

Mines and Petroleum Minister Norman Moore said improving the existing approvals system was never going to be a "quick fix".

Earlier this week, the World Risk Survey 2009 by Resourcestocks Magazine cited WA as a high risk.

This followed a succession of other surveys in recent years that have consistently found WA slipping down the rankings and becoming a more difficult jurisdiction than some other states.

Improving project approvals was one of the Liberal National governments top priorities when it came to power last year.

 

 

 

Full announcement below:

 

Minister defends State Government approach to approvals system reform
Portfolio: Mines and Petroleum

Mines and Petroleum Minister Norman Moore has defended the State Government's approach to reforming the approvals system in Western Australia's resources sector.

Mr Moore's comments followed the release of industry results gathered by the Resourcestocks Magazine for the World Risk Survey 2009 which identified WA a high risk for resources industry investment.

"When this Government came into power it very quickly identified that WA's approvals processes were less than efficient and that industry was demanding change," he said.  

"This Government consulted with industry and established a working group that could identify ways to improve the existing system. This was never going to be a quick fix.  

"But this Government remains focused on delivering significant improvements - not just some minor adjustments that will have little long term benefits."  

The Minister said the State Government was currently reviewing the recommendations of the working group's report, which was tabled in August.  

In tandem with the review process, the Department of Mines and Petroleum had also implemented some approval reform initiatives including:  

- establishing approval timeline targets for key mining and petroleum approvals

- publishing quarterly resource sector approval performance measures (since January 1, 2009)

- completing a review of the Memorandum of Understanding with the EPA which provides more certainty for industry (June 2009)

- establishing an approvals application tracking systems for mining and petroleum proposals (announced by Mr Moore on June 23, 2009)

- provision of an upgraded online petroleum and geothermal register (PGR) system - the first such online system in Australia (June 2009).  

In April this year, the State Government announced its $80million Exploration Incentive Scheme (EIS) initiative to boost mineral and petroleum exploration in WA and encourage exploration throughout greenfield and frontier areas during the next five years.  

The Minister said WA had also consulted with other States and Territories regarding approval and regulatory reform. 

"Industry has supported the changes that this State Government has already initiated," he said.  

"I expect the resources sector will continue to work closely with the State Government to ensure any reform measures for WA will bring real efficiency improvements.  

"I remain confident that WA will steadily improve on these industry survey tables over the coming years to outrank some of the top performers of today."

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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