15/09/2008 - 10:32

Lobby groups relist demands for Barnett

15/09/2008 - 10:32

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Just a day after the Liberal Party emerged as the state's next government, Western Australia's key lobby groups have urged Premier-elect Colin Barnett to implement initiatives for the state to realise its full potential.

Just a day after the Liberal Party emerged as the state's next government, Western Australia's key lobby groups have urged Premier-elect Colin Barnett to implement initiatives for the state to realise its full potential.

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA, the Chamber of Minerals and Energy and the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies have all welcomed the Nationals decision to support the Liberals, but all say there is much work that needs to be done.

CCIWA said the Liberal-Nationals alliance cannot afford to take business and industry for granted and reiterated its 10 key policy priorities for the new government to address.

Those include addressing labour shortages, energy security, tax competitiveness, public sector reform, retail trading hours and climate change.

Meanwhile the CME said it hopes to work closes with the new government on the proposed Royalties for Regions scheme, where 25 per cent - or $675 million - of mining royalties will go towards regional infrastructure each year.

"The resources sector supports the call for additional funding in the State's regional areas, in both social and hard infrastructure," CME chief executive Reg Howard-Smith said.

"However we also acknowledge that the additional spending must be on a needs basis and undertaken to ensure Western Australia's AAA rating is not adversely impacted."

The CME also called for other key issues impacting the resources sector to be addressed, including the Emissions Trading Scheme and an efficient and effective project approvals process.

AMEC also echoed CME's calls for a more streamlined approvals process amongst other key areas.

"The mining and exploration sectors are hopeful that the new Government will immediately address the significant challenges it acknowledged during the election campaign," AMEC chief executive Justin Walawski said.

"The Liberal leadership spoke of the inefficiencies created by having several Ministers oversee the State's most valuable industry and recognised the need for a full-time Resources Minister.

"The Nationals endorsed AMEC's Resource Exploration Acceleration Plan (REAP*) which
highlighted those issues as well as the need to create an incentive scheme to encourage new mineral exploration in the regions.

"Overwhelmingly however, the most important issue for the industry is the need to streamline the onerous and time-consuming approvals process it is forced to navigate for even the most minor of works.

"The process for new exploration and mining approvals has become very convoluted and
consequently, the State's reputation and economic potential are being rapidly eroded.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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