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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 954 asked in the Legislative Council on 16 October 2018 by Hon Jacqui Boydell

Parliament: 40 Session: 1

Answered on 16 October 2018

DUST MANAGEMENT — PORT HEDLAND

954. Hon JACQUI BOYDELL to the Minister for Regional Development:

I refer to the minister's joint media release yesterday regarding dust issues in Port Hedland and her comments that ''our response to the dust issue ensures the health of local residents without putting at risk the industries that drive jobs for the region and the state''.

(1) Does the minister expect the industries that use the port to invest in the latest dust suppression technology to reduce dust emissions at the port?

(2) What type of commercial activity does her government see as ideal for the west end if the issue of dust suppression is still not being addressed?

(3) Does the government consider it acceptable to place those working in any new commercial precinct in the west end at risk of continued exposure to dust?

Hon ALANNAH MacTIERNAN replied:

I thank the member for the question.

(1) Yes. The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation will complete reviews of all port premises licences under part V of the Environmental Protection Act 1986, applying a consistent and risk-based approach to the regulation of dust for each premises. Licence holders will then need to make whatever investment is required to comply with their licence conditions. Monitoring of dust will now be undertaken by DWER rather than the Port Hedland Industries Council.

(2) The preferred forms of commercial development in the west end will be identified as part of the process of developing an improvement plan and improvement scheme for the area. This will include opportunities for community consultation.

(3) The 2016 Port Hedland health risk assessment concluded that there is no immediate or acute health risk to the Port Hedland community but the focus should be on minimising exposure to dust. The proposed land use planning measures, in tandem with the proposed industry regulation approach, are seen as the most effective ways of achieving this outcome.