17/11/2008 - 12:13

Mining industry working group announced

17/11/2008 - 12:13

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Mines and Petroleum Minister Norman Moore has announced the formation of a 12-member industry working group, chaired by former Resources Minister Peter Jones, to advise on ways to improve the state's exploration and development approvals process.

Mining industry working group announced

Mines and Petroleum Minister Norman Moore has announced the formation of a 12-member industry working group, chaired by former Resources Minister Peter Jones, to advise on ways to improve the state's exploration and development approvals process.

The group's member list reads like a who's who of mining and resources in Western Australia.

Deputy chairman John Bowler, the current member for Kalgoorlie and former Mines Minister, will be joined by members of the mining and resources fraternity including representatives from major players like Apache Energy, BHP Billiton and The Griffin Group.

Joining Mr Jones and Mr Bowler is Apache Energy's government and public affairs manager, David Parker, formerly a director with The Chamber of Minerals and Energy (CME) for six years, until he left the position in June this year.

BHP Billiton's vice-president government affairs, Ian Fletcher is also part of the government committee. He previously spent time as a Chief-of-Staff to former Premier Richard Court.

Noel Ashcroft, chief executive government relations and market development for The Griffin Group is in the newly-formed group.

Mr Ashcroft previously served as Western Australia's Agent General to the European Union, a role in maintaining and promoting business, government and cultural ties with Europe, as well as a stint at the Department of Industry and Resources.

Another former member of the CME's executive committee, former chief executive Tim Shanahan, is also part of the group.

Mr Shanahan was appointed as the inaugural director Energy and Minerals Initiative at The University of Western Australia in November 2007.

Richard Ellis, a former staffer for Colin Barnett and director (WA) of the Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association is on board, as is Derek Carew-Hopkins.

As the Director-General of the Department of Environment, Mr Carew-Hopkins had responsibility for a diverse range of environmental and water related regulation, assessment and investigation. He left government in 2006.

Mr Moore said the group will review the current approval processes that all proponents of exploration, mining and petroleum projects in WA must undertake before starting operations.

"This new working group consists of a number of prominent Western Australians with a broad knowledge of the minerals and petroleum industry and of industry concerns about WA as a place to do business," Mr Moore said.

"I have established the group to provide strategic advice about the best way for the State Government to make WA's approvals processes more efficient and more welcoming for exploration and development activity.

"The industry working group will start its work this week.

"I expect to be presented with an interim report in February 2009 and a final report by the end of April."

 

 

 

 

Full government announcement below:

 

New industry working group will advise on mining approvals process
Portfolio: Mines and Petroleum

Mines and Petroleum Minister Norman Moore told a lunch of 150 representatives from the resources sector last Friday that he had set up an industry working group to advise on ways to improve the State's exploration and development approvals process.

 

Mr Moore said his priority on taking on the Mines and Petroleum portfolio after the recent State election was to dramatically overhaul the current unwieldy approvals process and provide greater certainty and confidence in the mining and resources sector.

 

"This new working group consists of a number of prominent Western Australians with a broad knowledge of the minerals and petroleum industry and of industry concerns about WA as a place to do business," he said.

 

"The chairman of the group is Peter Jones, a former Resources Minister in the administration of Sir Charles Court. The deputy chairman is John Bowler, the current member for Kalgoorlie and a former Mines Minister.

 

"I have established the group to provide strategic advice about the best way for the State Government to make WA's approvals processes more efficient and more welcoming for exploration and development activity."

 

The Minister said the group - due to meet soon - will review the current approval processes that all proponents of exploration, mining and petroleum projects in WA must undertake before starting operations.

 

The review had a number of proposed objectives which included:

 

- understanding existing approvals processes (environmental, tenure, planning, Native Title and Aboriginal heritage) necessary for mining and petroleum activity to occur in WA including:

- timelines associated with these processes

- impediments, overlap and duplication by State and Commonwealth agencies

- mechanisms for review of decisions

- benchmarks against selected jurisdictions in Australia and elsewhere.

 

- identifying which impediments can be addressed through changes to government policies and administrative processes and those which will require legislative change

 

 

- developing a framework to ensure better co-ordination across agencies to achieve quicker approvals - including provisions to ensure decision-making within specified timeframes

 

- providing a schedule for implementation of

- administrative changes - these should happen quickly

- legislative changes which could be contained in a omnibus Bill and be given priority in the parliamentary legislative program

- a mechanism for ongoing review of implementation based on milestones with input from industry.

 

- identifying and analysing the key issues that stakeholders have with the approvals processes and actions that can be taken to improve WA's reputation as a place to do business in the mineral and petroleum industries.

 

"The industry working group will start its work this week," Mr Moore said.

 

"I expect to be presented with an interim report in February 2009 and a final report by the end of April."

 

The Minister said the group would comprise:

 

- Peter Jones (chair)

- John Bowler (deputy chair)

- Derek Carew Hopkins

- Mark Gregory

- David Parker

- Richard Ellis

- Ian Wight-Pickin

- Ian Fletcher

- Tim Shanahan

- Chris Clegg

- Doug Koontz

- Noel Ashcroft.

 

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