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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 215 asked in the Legislative Council on 15 June 2017 by Hon Robin Scott

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

WARDEN'S COURT — PART IV PROCEEDINGS
      215. Hon ROBIN SCOTT to the minister representing the Minister for Mines and Petroleum:
I refer the minister to an article titled ''Pollies push for a Warden's Court Result'', which appeared in the Kalgoorlie Miner of Thursday, 11 May 2017, and was about the suspension of arrangements for agents other than lawyers to act on behalf of prospectors and small miners when the Mining Warden is acting in an administrative capacity.
      (1) Can the minister state what specific options are available to the Department of Mines and Petroleum to restore the right of agents to act, including a possible amendment to regulation 169 of the Mining Regulations 1981?
      (2) Will the minister take expedient action by amending regulation 169 to resolve this matter so that agents can again act on behalf of prospectors and small miners?
Hon SAMANTHA ROWE replied:
On behalf of the Minister for Regional Development, I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question. The following information has been provided to me by the Minister for Mines and Petroleum.
      (1) Parties can still be represented by an agent in proceedings under part IV of the Mining Act 1978 in exceptional circumstances, with the leave of the Mining Warden. Practice directions for the Mining Warden acting in an administrative capacity are issued, amended and cancelled by the Chief Magistrate, independent of the Department of Mines and Petroleum. Following the rescission of Practice Direction 1 of 2014, DMP is monitoring the current situation in the Warden's Court as it pertains to part IV proceedings.
      (2) The Department of Mines and Petroleum is assessing possible options to provide clarity to the industry on this matter, including reviewing the effectiveness of regulation 169 of the Mining Regulations 1981.