Online transition for mining applications a smart move during COVID-19

The State Government’s decision to move mining applications and other administrative procedures online is a win for common sense, particularly during COVID-19.

The Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia’s (CME) Chief Executive Paul Everingham said the organisation had approached the Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston and the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) for a new approach once it became evident that lodging physical documents and requiring ‘wet’ signature was no longer feasible.

“CME sought this practical approach from the Government not only for streamlining and efficiency purposes, but also to ensure that necessary industry engagement could continue during COVID-19,” he said.

“The public health response to COVID-19 has included increased work from home and physical distancing requirements, which made preparing, signing and sending documents through the post very difficult and onerous for members.

“Now that DMIRS is moving to a expand the use of electronic approaches, WA resources companies can now carry out their administrative business with the Department in a safer, more efficient manner, including lodging applications linked to tenement applications and other approvals.

“On behalf of our members, CME thanks the Government for being responsive to meeting the needs of members during these challenging times.”

Mr Everingham said there had been widespread recognition from the State and Federal governments that the WA resources sector had played an integral role in keeping the Australian economy afloat during the coronavirus pandemic, therefore it was essential that government regulations and procedures didn’t prohibit or stifle mining operations.