Overdue improvements to mining regulations to give landholders advance warning

March 5, 2003 - The Mining Amendment Regulations tabled in the Legislative Council last night include a provision negotiated by the Greens (WA) which require mining and exploration companies to notify landholders if operations are to take place within a certain distance of their properties.

Up until this date, there has been no provision under the Mining Act requiring miners to alert landholders if operations were to come within a certain distance of their property or leasehold, or within a certain depth of occupied land.

'We were faced with a situation which underlines the pre-eminence of mining over other land uses in this state,' Mr Chapple said this morning. 'I sought a commitment from the Government that in passing these amendments to the mining act, contact would at least have to be initiated by the mining company well before operations began. I am pleased to see that this has been reflected in the regulations as tabled last night.'

Mr Chapple warned that the system was a long way from perfect. 'The amendments give landholders no right of appeal or further consultation, they are simply a right to be notified about a proposal.'

'It will however give landholders an important advance warning should they wish to take action through other channels such as the Mining Warden or the EPA, and in this regard I believe the amendments were worth pursuing.'

'I will continue to watch for opportunities to improve this Act, given its fundamental importance to regional communities.'

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