Wednesday, September 28, 2011

WA govt fails to monitor mining conditions

WA govt fails to monitor mining conditions

Mining companies who promise to offset the environmental impacts of their projects could be seen to be "buying" project approval from the Western Australia government, the auditor general says.

This is due to the lack of transparency and reporting by the WA government about what environmental offset arrangement are in place and whether they are being delivered.

WA Auditor General Colin Murphy's report into the compliance with mining conditions found there was no formal policy on the use of environmental offsets, when they should be approved or how they should be monitored and reported.
Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region


West Australian Auditor-General’s Report confirms Poor Compliance Record of Miners
28th September 2011

Greens Member for Mining and Pastoral Robin Chapple MLC has welcomed the Western Australian Auditor-General’s report ‘Ensuring Compliance with Conditions on Mining’, saying it confirms what he has been saying for years.

“While much has been made of the mining boom, what is less well known is the poor performance of mining companies when it comes to compliance with environmental requirements,” Mr Chapple said.

“Indeed, it seems that mining companies, assisted by the Department of State Development and the Department of Mining and Petroleum, are making their sizeable profits at the expense of the environment and Indigenous cultural values.

“The main criticism must be directed at the Premier Colin Barnett, who is also the Minister for State Development, and the Minister for Mines and Petroleum Hon Norman Moore for the failure of their departments to ensure monitoring and compliance in several areas including environmental offsets, annual environmental reporting, mines inspections and ensuring adequate mine closure and rehabilitation plans.

“Premier Barnett and Minister Moore must be held to account and explain to the community why, when we are a-wash with money, they cannot do more to protect our environmental and cultural values.

“Other departments were also found lacking, and questions must be asked of the Minister of the Environment Bill Marmion and Minister of Indigenous Affairs Peter Collier about their poor efforts when it comes to monitoring and enforcing compliance.

“As the report notes: ‘heritage sites may have been lost or damaged without the State knowing or acting’.


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