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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 850 asked in the Legislative Council on 15 August 2019 by Hon Robin Scott

Minister responding: Hon W.J. Johnston
Parliament: 40 Session: 1

Answered on 15 August 2019

DEPARTMENT OF MINES, INDUSTRY REGULATION AND SAFETY — APPROVALS PROCESS

850. Hon ROBIN SCOTT to the minister representing the Minister for Mines and Petroleum:

At the 2019 Diggers and Dealers conference held recently in Kalgoorlie, a consistent theme of speakers was complaints of government red tape for approvals.

(1) Does the minister now concede that following overwhelming demand from the industry there is an urgent need to review Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety processes, with a view to expediting approvals of applications?

(2) On what basis does the minister state, as he has, that Western Australia has the best approvals process in the world?

(3) Why is the minister reluctant to impose stricter time lines on the department to drive efficiency and productivity for our mining industry?

Hon ALANNAH MacTIERNAN replied:

I thank the member for the question. The following information has been provided by the Minister for Mines and Petroleum.

(1) No.

(2) For several years, the Fraser Institute annual survey of mining companies has rated Western Australia in the top five mining jurisdictions in the world. Although there is always room for improvement, I believe Western Australia's regulatory regime for mining activity is a key to our success as a mining state.

(3) The Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety has publicly available time lines for approvals, which are reported quarterly, indicating an efficient and timely approval process. The latest published information indicates that 90 per cent of applications were finalised within the approval target time lines. The department undertakes a continuous improvement approach to the regulatory framework and is considering a number of improvements, including greater use of online systems and working with applicants to ensure that comprehensive and quality information is provided to deliver reduced approval time frames. Under the government's Streamline WA initiative, the department is working with the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation and with industry to identify reform proposals for mining and environment regulation.