A number of issues have risen their head above the parapet in the last couple of weeks both in the news and from the AMEC Forum ‘Working Through the Maze’, and from the Mineral Titles data LandTrack Systems has analysed. It demonstrates WA economy is being stalled by bureaucracy could be kick started with action from government.
Graeme Coby on behalf of Dr Phil Gorey, Deputy Director General Resources, Titles and Compliance, Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) presented the following graph in a presentation at the AMEC conference that shows most of the delays in getting a mining lease granted is ‘other agencies’ a polite way of saying native title and environmental approval.
Mr Corby later supplemented that graph with the following graph that shows the total days to get a mining lease granted in the last five years and the other agencies consume most of the time.
To state the basics, to begin mining in WA you need a mining lease. A mining lease application is accompanied by Mining Proposal that needs approval by DMIRS and the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWERS).
At the same AMEC conference Mike Rowe, Director General, Department of Water and Environmental Regulation said that there was increase of 140 applications, which equated to 80% increase. At the same time the DWERS had 20% reduction in staff.
LandTrack Systems analysed WA Mineral Titles data, specifically Mining Lease approval times showing he following results: 122 mining leases where granted last year and the average number of days from application to grant is 1156.
There are 433 mining lease applications pending grant, and extrapolating DMIRS data, all held up by Native Title or DWERS.
If the government wished to kick start the economy they could supply adequate resources to facilitated the grant of the mining leases. Firstly, by supplying adequate resources to DWER to process the mining leases or coming up with a more efficient method of processing environmental applications.
Secondly, the government could negotiate claim wide or regional Native Title agreements (this is nothing new) and use part of the royalties as payment to the Native Title Parties. Quarantining this money from consolidated revenue, the Government would not lose any money because it would be balanced by WA’s share of the GST increasing, which they are always complaining about.