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Libs promise $20M for WA's resource coffers

IF IT is re-elected, the Western Australian Liberal Party has pledged to invest $A20 million to ensure the continued viability of the state's resources sector.

Lauren Barrett
Libs promise $20M for WA's resource coffers

Mines and Petroleum Minister Norman Moore said a Liberal government would continue to foster the development and expansion of all parts of WA’s mining and petroleum industries.

Of the promised funding, $10 million would be put towards phase 2 of the resource track project, which would allow proponents to track the progress of their approvals, regardless of which government department was evaluating them.

The funds would complement the $3 million the Liberal government had already invested in the Department of Mines and Petroleum’s online approvals tracking system.

A further $8 million would be spent to establish the state environmental data library.

“This will provide a standardised data collection, cross referencing and online electronic access system for the enormous amount of information that is held by industry and government agencies in Western Australia,” Moore said.

Spruiking WA’s mining and petroleum services sector overseas would also be supported with a $2 million funding package to help establish a marketing fund.

It would allow for industry representation at major international and petroleum forums and also the engagement of a trade consultant in Nairobi, Kenya.

If re-elected, the Liberal government, led by Premier Colin Barnett, would continue the exploration incentive scheme.

“We will also support the responsible development of onshore conventional gas and the state’s uranium resources,” Moore said.

The Chamber of Minerals and Energy of WA welcomed the Liberals’ mines and petroleum policy, stating it was very pleased to see the expansion of the department’s approvals tracking scheme.

“CME believes that the Department of Mines and Petroleum approvals tracking system has led the way within government for accountability and transparency of project approvals,” CME said.

It said the biodiversity initiative was as an important step forward in developing a framework for collaboration and cooperation between WA’s biodiversity conservation research organisations.

“An aligned and coordinated state-wide biodiversity, water and cultural heritage management system removes a significant roadblock to the advancement and development of future resource projects in Western Australia,” CME said.

Furthermore, it applauded Barnett’s earlier election promise to rule out additional levies and taxes on the resources sector.

In comparison, WA Labor Leader Mark McGowan today pledged to protect the natural environment of the Mitchell Plateau and the Kimberley.

If elected, Labor would create the Great North Kimberley Marine Park and the Fitzroy River National Park to preserve the Kimberley region’s marine and terrestrial environments.

McGowan said a Labor government would start negotiations with Mitchell Plateau bauxite tenement holders to relinquish their interest and then legislate to ensure the plateau was protected from mining.

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