13/08/2009 - 15:33

State gains ground on approvals backlog

13/08/2009 - 15:33

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The Department of Mines and Petroleum has reached its target for clearing the backlog of project approvals during the June quarter.

State gains ground on approvals backlog

The Department of Mines and Petroleum has reached its target for clearing the backlog of project approvals during the June quarter.

In an update on the backlog of approvals, a sore point for the resources industry, Mines Minister Norman Moore said latest figures from the DMP showed a faster decline in the backlog of mining-related applications.

The update follows yesterday's tabling of a report by the Industry Working Group that made 15 recommendations on how the approvals process in WA could be more efficient and effective.

Included in the recommendations were changes to the environmental and mining acts and the establishment of a single decision making authority for all mining and petroleum proposals.

 

The announcement is below:

 

 

The Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) continue to streamline approval processes during the June quarter, with latest figures showing an increased fall in the backlog of mining-related applications.

Mines and Petroleum Minister Norman Moore, who established a working group last November to clear the backlog, said the figures were very encouraging.

Second quarter improvements were achieved despite a rise in the number of applications received, compared to the first quarter. The figures are available on the department's website and show that within the target timeline the:

- percentage of petroleum environmental approvals rose from 86 per cent to 100 per cent
- percentage of mining environmental approvals rose from 86 per cent to 92 per cent
- percentage of petroleum tenure approvals rose from 83 per cent to
88 per cent.

"Western Australia is clearly repairing the damage to its international reputation that occurred under the previous Labor government's watch," Mr Moore said.

"Labor's complacency during the time of the resources boom allowed the approvals process to deteriorate and degenerate into the unwieldy, lengthy and opaque system that I inherited on becoming Mines Minister.

"I established an Industry Working Group to look at this issue and offer suggestions on how to improve the system. I tabled that report in State Parliament yesterday.

"Meanwhile, DMP has made significant progress in improving its approvals processes and creating more transparency.

"These results follow the DMP's new online Environmental Assessment and Regulatory System (EARS) and the upgrade of the Petroleum and Geothermal Register (PGR).

"EARS and PGR now enable proponents to track online the progress of their applications for petroleum and geothermal tenures and environmental assessment."

The Minister said the latest approvals performance report could be accessed at http://www.dmp.wa.gov.au/7436.aspx


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