New funding to reduce mining backlog

11 September 2007 | 08:27 Code : 15225 Geoscience events
The Western Australian State Government has committed $3.5m to reduce its....

  The Western Australian State Government has committed $3.5m to reduce its backlog of mining tenement applications.Resources Minister Francis Logan said the backlog, which peaked at 18,700 in February, was a direct result of enormous resources boom underway in WA.“The resources boom is underpinning our economic growth and bringing huge benefits to the State and to Australia,” Mr Logan said.“But it is also creating many challenges and the backlog of mining tenement applications is something that needs to be rectified.“The $3m over the next three years, plus $500,000 in ongoing funding, will allow the Department of Industry and Resources to employ people on a contract basis to process these applications and reduce the backlog.“I want to see the backlog reduced to an operational level of 5,000 applications within three years,” he said.Mr Logan said reducing the backlog would encourage more exploration activity in the Western Australia.“Last year’s amendments to the Mining Act have delivered significant short and long term benefits to the mining industry,” he said.“It has included mechanisms to revert from unwanted mining lease applications to new exploration titles and prevent the backlog in mining leases applications from recurring. “With the 2006 reversion period closing in February this year, the backlog has now started to decline.”Mr Logan said the use of Regional Standard Heritage Agreements had also helped reduce the backlog.He said these agreements were developed between industry and native title groups to address Aboriginal heritage and exploration activities to reduce objections by native title parties and speed up the processing of exploratory applications.

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