The Carpenter Government today announced it would review the development of the iron ore industry in the Mid-West.
The strategic review would seek to provide certainty to the industry, while also protecting the special biodiversity of the region.
The review, to be undertaken by the Department of Industry and Resources (DoIR) and the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC), would consider the environmental, social and economic factors associated with an iron ore industry in the Mid-West.
Resources Minister John Bowler said the review would combine information on the diverse range of plants and animals in the region, with what was known about iron ore deposits throughout the area.
Mr Bowler said it was important to have all of the information collated in one central report, to allow industry to move forward with certainty.
“The review will draw on information from across State Government, mining companies and environmental consultants,” he said.
“We expect to receive an interim status report on what we currently know about the region within four to six months.”
The Minister said information from the review would be provided to the Mid-West Ministerial Committee, which was established to consider issues relating to the development of an iron ore industry in the region.
“The development of an iron ore industry in the Mid-West has the potential to generate substantial benefits to the State and regional cities like Geraldton,” he said.
“However, it is equally important that we know the biodiversity values of the area so that when proposals are put forward for development, we know what needs to be conserved.
“This review will help provide some certainty in terms of market opportunities and effective conservation outcomes.”
Environment Minister Mark McGowan said the Department of Environment and Conservation would evaluate biodiversity data and identify plant species and communities requiring protection as part of the review.
“The Mid-West region has a fantastic range of flora and new species are being discovered all the time,” Mr McGowan said.
“In fact, 12 new plant species were found in the area during the past year.
“A recent DEC survey showed an impressive amount of unique vegetation communities and heralded the discovery of 19 new populations of flora in need of conservation management.
“This review will help improve our knowledge of the biodiversity contained in the Mid-West and help determine how we can best manage these important areas in terms of conservation and resource development.”
Resources Minister's office - 9222 9699
Environment Minister's office - 9222 9111