Announcing the change to Part V of the Environmental Protection Act, Environment Minister Albert Jacob said the move would reduce red tape for industry and increase the focus on improving environmental outcomes by allowing industry to make longer-term decisions.
“This is a better approach to regulation and will deliver a wide range of benefits to both industry and the environment,” Jacob said.
“Frequently renewing licences does not lead to better environmental outcomes. By increasing the length of licences, more focus can go into ensuring industry compliance with the conditions of operation and the completion of robust environmental assessments, rather than administrative procedures.”
Until now, licences issued under the Environmental Protection Act have typically been for between one and five years and their renewal created an ongoing administrative burden for industry as well as for the Department of Environment Regulation.
“For industry, the change will help provide certainty when it comes to financing projects and this has a positive flow-on effect for the State’s economy and employment opportunities for West Australians. It will also mean a reduction in the cost of reviewing and assessing licence renewal documents and help companies increase their focus on environmental performance,” he said.
“There are also many advantages for the state government. Department staff will have more resources to monitor industry’s compliance with environmental regulations and work with industry to improve environmental outcomes. There will also be an increased ability to undertake strategic reviews of licensed premises.”