- McGowan Government to invest more than $1.6 million in reducing application wait times for key environmental, mining and heritage approvals
- Funding could assist at least 17 projects currently seeking approvals, unlocking thousands of jobs
- New funding will be used by four WA Government regulatory authorities for additional short term specialist roles dedicated to processing a surge in applications
- Immediate action taken in response to feedback from industry stakeholders
More than $1.6 million will be invested in cutting application wait times for major resource projects, unlocking thousands of jobs and delivering significant economic benefits for Western Australia.
The State Government expects that this funding could assist at least 17 projects currently seeking regulatory approvals. In total, these projects are estimated to create almost 18,300 construction jobs and more than 4,500 operational jobs.
The additional funding will support State Government regulatory authorities in managing a significant increase in applications for key environmental, mining and heritage approvals, related to these major projects.
Resource market trends, such as the expansion of the gold and iron ore sectors due to high commodity prices, and WA's reputation as an attractive and safe destination for resource investment, are driving the surge in applications.
To ensure the growing number of applications does not delay approvals for major projects, the State Government will fund additional surge capacity across the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation including Environmental Protection Authority services, the Department of Planning, Land and Heritage, the Department of Mining, Industry Regulation and Safety, and the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation.
All four authorities have also agreed to work together on a number of new measures that will facilitate better co-ordination and the prioritisation of approvals for major projects across government.
These immediate short term actions have been taken in response to feedback from industry stakeholders, and ensures approvals for major projects will proceed in parallel with longer term regulatory reform.
The WA Government remains committed to delivering long term regulatory reform and resourcing measures that will make sure applications for major projects are processed consistently and efficiently into the future, including Streamline WA.
Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:
"This funding will fast-track approvals and potentially create thousands of jobs for Western Australians.
"WA's strong response to the pandemic has meant confidence has returned to our economy, with major projects in the pipeline in coming years.
"As a Government, we are focused on ensuring these projects are not delayed, so we can create jobs and support the economy while maintaining high environmental and heritage standards.
"Our resources sector is the engine room of the nation, and it's crucial we support the sector to continue our recovery and create jobs and training opportunities for Western Australians.
"We're investing more than $1.6 million in additional short term specialist roles that will help our regulatory authorities process a surge in applications for key environmental, mining and heritage approvals.
"As an attractive and safe destination for resource investment before, during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, it is expected that the number of applications for major projects will only continue to increase into the foreseeable future.
"We know from listening to industry stakeholders that making sure our regulatory authorities have the ability to process applications consistently and efficiently is key to unlocking the economic benefits major projects can deliver for Western Australians."
Premier's office - 6552 5000