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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 302 asked in the Legislative Council on 8 May 2018 by Hon Robin Scott

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

      302. Hon ROBIN SCOTT to the minister representing the Minister for Mines and Petroleum:
I refer to the immense value of handwritten records to prospectors and geologists who can, for example, glean vital information from margin notes made by their predecessors decades ago or even a century ago.
      (1) Is the minister aware that prospectors and geologists seeking to view historic records at the Kalgoorlie office of the Mining Warden are being told that the records have been moved to Perth?
      (2) What records have been moved from Kalgoorlie to Perth; when were those records moved; and were those records moved with or without the minister's knowledge?
      (3) Can the minister give an assurance that the shifting of records is not a harbinger of the abolition of access to handwritten original records, nor of the closure of more regional offices of the Mining Warden?
I thank the member for the question. The Minister for Mines and Petroleum has provided the following information.
      (1)–(2) All hard copy departmental records received or created in the department's regional centres are periodically transferred to Perth as part of the normal records management practice. For example, the last time a regional records collection was undertaken from the Kalgoorlie office was in December 2016. Types of records include files, registers, survey diagrams, cancelled public plans, office administration and financial records.
      (3) The frequency of transferring hard copy records is a standard records management practice, the timing of which is based upon need and, historically, has been undertaken every couple of years. It is not in itself an indicator of plans to close an office. Records of historical significance are preserved for future access and reference.