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Parliamentary Questions

Question On Notice No. 2737 asked in the Legislative Council on 5 December 2019 by Hon Robin Scott

Question Directed to the: Minister for Regional Development representing the Minister for Mines and Petroleum; Industrial Relations
Parliament: 40 Session: 1
Question

I refer to the Kangaroo Hills Timber Reserve and its long history as a highly multi mineralised zone for future exploration and mining:
(a) can the Minister state what specific ecological/environmental attributes convinced the Department of Mines Industry and Regulation (DMIRS) to support the action of supporting the area referred to above as being a state forest over advancing the exploration/ mining industry resources for the benefit of the State of Western Australia as is DMIRS charter;
(b) if no to (a), why not;
(c) can the Minister list and name what other reserves including other areas of land apart from the Kangaroo Hills Timber reserve with existing historical mining (mineralized zones) and or exploration potential has DMIRS supported or encouraged to be converted to state forest or some other land category to preclude and stop exploration/mining;
(d) if no to (c), why not;
(e) can the Minister state what percentage of the total area of the Kangaroo Hills Timber Reserve is currently held as granted or pending mining tenements;
(f) if no to (e), why not;
(g) can the Minister state how many mining tenements including any pending Prospecting Licences, Exploration Licences and Mining Leases are located within the Kangaroo Hills Timber Reserve which would be affected;
(h) in terms of history, how long in years have mining tenements existed and been granted in the Kangaroo Hills Timber Reserve allowing exploration and mining to take place;
(i) can the Minister advise what specific concerns have tenement holders/applicants raised with the proposal to turn this area into a state forest; and
(j) if no to (i), why not?

Answered on 12 March 2020

The response to the Parliamentary Question Without Notice 1572 answered on 5 December 2019, was for Reserve 19211 identified as Kangaroo Hills Timber Reserve within DMIRS electronic mapping system TENGRAPH. DMIRS has since advised that a Reserve 198/25 adjoining Reserve 19211 is also known as Kangaroo Hills Timber Reserve.

The answers provided below are in response to Question Without Notice 2737 and also provide information to answer the Question Without Notice 1572 for Reserve 198/25.

(a)   No

(b)   Ecological/environmental attributes are not assessed by DMIRS. In 2016 DMIRS provided preliminary comments to the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) noting that the proposed State Forest could be considered, provided access levels be maintained and the consent to mine process addressed prior to the creation of the State Forest.

(c)   No

(d)   DMIRS (including its predecessors) has had a role in providing advice to the Government on the reservation and protection of lands for decades. The provision of this information requires an analysis of every reservation or protection proposal which would divert staff away from their normal duties and I am not prepared to allocate the State's resources to that activity.

(e) There are two reserves known as Kangaroo Hills Timber Reserve:

  • Reserve 19211 (Kangaroo Hills Timber Reserve) – 67.7 per cent of the reserve affected by mining tenements.
  • Reserve 198/25 (Crown Timber Reserve) – 91.6 per cent of the reserve affected by mining tenements.

(f)   Not applicable

(g)   There are two reserves known as Kangaroo Hills Timber Reserve:

  • Reserve 19211 (Kangaroo Hills Timber Reserve) – 23 live and pending mining tenements intersect this reserve.
  • Reserve 198/25 (Crown Timber Reserve) – 109 live and pending mining tenements intersect this reserve.

(h)   Tenements have been granted over reserves known as Kangaroo Hills Timber Reserve since 1894.

(i)    Concerns have been raised regarding the need to renegotiate Section 24 Mining Act access if the proposed State Forest was created and that no access would be available until such time as the consent to mine is granted by the Minister for Mines and Petroleum via the consultation stipulated in the Mining Act.

(j)   Not applicable