Article by Henry Ballard courtesy of Australian Mining.
The Western Australian Government has invested a record amount to accelerate project approvals across several agencies, including the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety.
The $120 million spend included the government’s $27.4 million election promise to the DMIRS to deliver mining approval reform.
Premier Mark McGowan said all five departments were integral to the state’s continued strength.
“Development in the mining, oil and gas, tourism and agricultural industries is vital to sustain economic growth and deliver WA jobs,” McGowan said.
“We are in the fortunate position of having the strongest economy in the nation, but we cannot be complacent as there are billions of dollars’ worth of capital projects in the approvals pipeline.”
The funding will mobilise 150 frontline officers to get their respective departments on the move.
McGowan added economic growth wasn’t the only motivator behind the investment.
“These additional officers will enable key agencies to meet the demand for timely assessments and approvals, while ensuring the protection of our environment, heritage, and of worker and community safety,” he said.
“There is plenty of room to improve regulation to make it more transparent, predictable, seamless and efficient, and ensure the community has high confidence in it.
“These extra resources – which include a dedicated red-tape reduction team – represent the single biggest investment in approvals in the State’s history.”
The Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia chief executive Paul Everingham emphasised the need for such investment.
“There are around $140 billion in projects in the WA mining and resources sector pipeline. An inefficient approvals process restricts our ability to take full advantage of these, impacting job creation as well as the local and national economy,” Everingham said.
“Now, more than ever, it is critical to maximise the significant pipeline of opportunities to support the local and national economy as it recovers from the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 as well as create new jobs for WA locals.”