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It says that except for the issuing of the Miner's Right, all DMIRS mineral title transactions can be lodged online through the department's databases.
That way, so long as online services are functional, the public can lodge transactions with DMIRS.
More than 80% of all Mining Act transactions are lodged online at the moment anyway.
For the fewer than 20% of transactions being lodged over the counter, contingencies are in place to help people make those transactions using online services.
DMIRS' Resources and Environmental Regulation Group has identified the public sector positions responsible for the ongoing administration of the legislation and can assign replacement personnel to critical positions as needed.
The department has contingencies in place to enable Mining Registrar functions to be delivered remotely, in the unlikely event a regional office cannot open for business.
Dependencies for the continuity of service include the availability of:
- Wardens to hear contested matters;
- The National Native Title Tribunal to hear contested expedited future act proceedings;
- Web services; and
- Australia Post services.
The Wardens Court has been suspended until mid-April.
That means there will be no mention hearings until further notice and all hearings listed to take place up to mid-April, when the situation will be reviewed, have been vacated.
Nevertheless, that suspension is not expected to stop parties from having matters dealt with administratively.
For example, Minutes of Programming Orders and Consent Orders can be submitted in the usual way. Also, where the parties are amenable, some matters may be determined on the papers.
In the event there is a need to call a matter on urgently during the suspension period, unless it is imperative the parties appear in person, audio link or video link facilities will be used.
The department's mineral title database Mineral Titles Online has the functionality for mining tenement holders to identify critical matters such as expiry events, which allows them to take early action and avoid losing the security of tenure.
The department is encouraging mining tenement holders to act promptly to ensure their mineral titles are secure.
It strongly recommends tenement holders or applicants use online systems rather than lodging physical documents either over the counter or via the post.