Caution urged with mining changes

June 3, 2004 - Greens (WA) mining spokesperson Robin Chapple MLC has foreshadowed serious problems with proposed amendments to the Mining Act 1978, which were to have been introduced to Parliament this week.

‘Given the broad range of stakeholders with an interest in this legislation, it was instructive to see that all it took was a whisper from the Chamber of Minerals and Energy to force a Government backdown,' Mr Chapple said.

‘I have a keen interest in this issue going back several years; in particular, the ability of large mining companies to tie up, or ‘warehouse' huge stretches of land and then claim that Native Title was preventing development of exploration or mining.'

‘Both the Technical Taskforce (November 2001) and the WA Auditor General's investigation of the minerals title system (Level Pegging, June 2002) raised serious concerns about the practice. In particular, the Auditor General noted serious flaws in the WA system of managing mineral leases which essentially condones the practice.

‘The Government needs to remember that there are a large number of stakeholders with a keen interest in the mining industry, and the Chamber is only one of those,' Mr Chapple said.

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