The Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia (CME) welcomes the announcement by the Minister for Mines and Petroleum, Hon Bill Johnston MLA today that an Approvals Response Plan will be implemented to improve assessment timeframes of exploration and mining approvals under the Mining Act.
The plan – which will redirect resources within the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety to prioritise these core assessment processes – follows extensive advocacy by CME regarding the importance of certainty regarding approval processing and the increasing pipeline of projects underway in our State.
Acting CME Chief Executive Rob Carruthers said the announcement of the plan was welcome news.
“We understand there are a variety of pressures on government department resources at this time, not the least the impact of a tight labour market,” Mr Carruthers said.
“But exploration development approvals are absolutely crucial to the WA mining and resources sector being able to provide the extremely significant contributions it makes to State and Federal economies, and communities right across the country.
“Timely and consistent regulatory approvals and processes are also integral to major companies and investors being willing to make the types of funding commitments required to develop large-scale projects.
“There are currently $156 billion in projects in the WA resources pipeline and each of these will be a very strong future source of employment and economic benefits for communities across our state if they can be brought to fruition.
“We thank the WA Government for their willingness to take tangible steps to improve regulatory processing and approval timelines to ensure WA retains it hard-won position as a globally competitive resources jurisdiction.”