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Wednesday, 18 September 2013
  • Department of Mines and Petroleum increases the validity period for Programmes of Work to four years
  • The decision will improve efficiency, provide flexibility and uphold environmental standards

The State Government has cut red tape for the mining industry with a change to the Programme of Work (PoW) approvals system.

Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Marmion said the change would improve efficiency and reduce duplication for the resource industry - and continue to ensure strict environmental standards were met.

Mr Marmion said the Government had extended the validity period for PoW approvals from two to four years.

The Minister said PoW approvals ensured resource companies conducted exploration in an environmentally sustainable way and set out the timeframe for companies to complete exploration works.

The Department of Mines and Petroleum received 2,596 PoW applications in 2012.

“This will improve efficiency and reduce duplication for the resources industry, while at the same time ensuring strict environmental standards,” Mr Marmion said.

“This decision provides greater flexibility for industry to manage exploration programs. This includes unforeseen events that can impact on exploration work such as extreme weather, access to operators and equipment, and funding.”

The Minister said the standard PoW period of validity was extended in December last year from one to two years. It has been extended again following feedback from stakeholders.

“This will see a reduction in the number of PoWs requiring annual review and will deliver considerable efficiencies for the department and industry,” Mr Marmion said.

The period of validity will only apply where the scope of the exploration work remains unchanged.

“If a company wants to conduct work outside what was approved, they will need to seek further approval before they are able to carry out that work,” the Minister said.

“This decision strikes an important balance between reducing duplication, providing flexibility, increasing efficiency and upholding environmental standards.”

Fact File

  • The Department of Mines and Petroleum has received 1,160 PoW applications in the first two quarters of 2013
  • The department received 10,372 PoW applications between Jan 1, 2009, and June 30, 2013
  • The Department of Mines and Petroleum recently introduced the Mining Rehabilitation Fund and is currently undertaking the Reforming Environmental Regulation initiative

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