- New policy for local government rating of land for resource projects
- Better outcome, more certainty for local governments and resource project operators
- Policy to apply for three years from July 1, 2012, after which it will be reviewed
The Western Australian Government has moved to ensure fairness and certainty by adopting an agreed State-wide policy for local government rating of land affected by mining, petroleum and resource interests.
Premier and State Development Minister Colin Barnett and Local Government Minister John Castrilli today released the policy for the application of Gross Rental Valuation (GRV).
Local governments will be able to apply GRV to improvements such as administration, recreation and accommodation facilities, and maintenance workshops within 100 metres of these facilities, on all land within tenements under the State’s mining and petroleum laws.
The policy will also apply to improvements on land that is not within a tenement, but is primarily used for resource related activities such as processing or refining.
Mr Barnett said the policy would bring a consistent approach for local government rating and ensure a fair outcome for communities, while providing certainty for resource companies. It is designed to have consistent application, whether or not projects are covered by State Agreements.
“This is an area that has caused concern over many years, and to have this level of agreement to the policy is a breakthrough,” the Premier said.
“Before 1980, mining companies often provided the services and infrastructure for mining communities under their State Agreement provisions. More recently, these towns have often been ‘normalised’, meaning that State and local government and the utilities assume responsibility for services and infrastructure.
“Local governments need income to provide these services, and for many years they have pressed successive State Governments to provide a fair and consistent regime for rating resource projects.”
The policy was developed through extensive discussion between the Chamber of Minerals and Energy, the Western Australian Local Government Association, the Association for Mining and Exploration Companies and the departments of State Development and Local Government.
Mr Castrilli said the policy enabled local governments to have more predictable rating processes and potentially, additional income, including from projects where there was a significant fly-in fly-out component.
Currently, mining and petroleum projects contribute to local government income through a variety of rating methods and other arrangements across the State.
Many such arrangements reflect a time when mine workers lived in existing towns, or when resources companies built and managed mining towns.
- Western Australia’s 540 commercial mining and petroleum projects include almost 1,000 operating mines, and more than 70 oil and gas fields
- The policy will apply to land defined as either:
- a relevant interest (under the Local Government Act 1995) such as a mining tenement held under the Mining Act 1978 or a permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence held under the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Resources Act 1967; or
- a resource interest used for the extraction, processing or refining of minerals or petroleum
- The policy will apply to all new mining, petroleum and resource interests
- It will not affect existing arrangements between local government and proponents unless both parties agree to adopt the policy
- Projects that operate under existing State Agreements and are currently exempt from rates may apply the policy as part of their respective Agreement Variation processes with the Department of State Development during the trial period
Premier and State Development Minister’s office - 9222 9475
Local Government Minister’s office - 9213 6800