Cautious support for Government’s public sector reform

The Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia (CME) said the State Government’s proposed reform of the public sector needed to be carefully implemented as it will significantly change how the resources sector interacts with a number of existing government departments.

CME Chief Executive, Reg Howard-Smith, said the industry had concerns over the amalgamation of the Department of Mines and Petroleum and Department of Commerce’s general industry regulatory functions into the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety.

“What we don’t want to see is a decreased focus on resource sector specific hazard and risk management as well as a reduction in available resources to support continuous improvement in safety performance,” he said.

Mr Howard-Smith said while the amalgamation of the Department of Water, Department of Environment Regulation and Office of the Environmental Protection Authority into a new Department of Water and Environmental Regulation had the potential to streamline the approvals and licensing process, key functions of water allocation and management would need to be carefully managed alongside environmental approvals.

He said the merging of the departments of Lands and Planning, along with State Heritage, into the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage could streamline the identification, planning, approval and protection of land usage for infrastructure corridors containing strategic industrial assets.

“This will provide an opportunity for better management and monitoring of land usage, in particular ensuring the risk of encroachment on strategic industrial assets is managed more efficiently and effectively for industry and the communities benefit,” Mr Howard-Smith said.

“Given Aboriginal heritage and land matters will now fall under under this new department, there should be a sharper focus on Aboriginal heritage administration and approvals processes, which will hopefully deliver improvements to accountability, transparency and procedural fairness.”

Mr Howard-Smith said the CME looked forward to discussing the planned changes and their effect on the resources industry with the State Government.

Further Information

contact: Rosalie Cobai
phone: 0437 156 127