30/10/2013 - 15:50

Mining amendments to cut red tape

30/10/2013 - 15:50

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The state government will introduce legislation this week which it says will encourage greater transparency around the environmental approvals process for mining projects and cut costs for business.

Chamber of Minerals and Energy WA chief executive Reg Howard-Smith.

The state government will introduce legislation this week which it says will encourage greater transparency around the environmental approvals process for mining projects.

The Mining Legislation Amendment Bill will amend the Mining Act to allow the public release of environmental data, asssessment information and tenement rehabilitation liability data.

The Department of Mines and Petroleum currently receives around 3,000 mining related proposals each year but only around 1,000 of these are made publicly available in some form. 

The bill will also allow tenement holders to nominate a single point of contact for for notices issued under the Mining Rehabilitation Fund Act, removing the need for each liable person to be contacted.

"We are introducing reforms that make it clearer, easier, and cheaper to do business in WA, whilst maintaining strict environmental standards," Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Marmion said.

"Let me be clear, this does not mean development at any cost. However, I do want to see a transparent approvals process that encourages further investment, and therefore more jobs, for Western Australians."

Chamber of Minerals and Energy WA chief executive Reg Howard-Smith said the amendments would allow for greater transparency, more effective approvals and effective compliance arrangements.

The state government introduced a new mining rehabilitation fund scheme in July, enabling project-specific environmental bonds to be refunded to those miners which chose to opt-in to the scheme in exchange for paying an annual levy.

Further reforms are planned ahead of the scheme becoming compulsory from July next year.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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