The government’s refusal to approve mine development applications in Banded Iron Formation ranges of Western Australia’s Mid West could seriously jeorpardise future economic development in the state, according to a peak industry body.
Chief Executive Officer of the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (AMEC), Simon Bennison urged the government to take another look at the proposals.
“…these applications have not been given the opportunity to be considered on their merits,” Mr Bennison said.
“This sets a worrying precedent for future development in the region.
“AMEC is particularly concerned that the EPA (Environmental Protection Authority) appears to have pre-judged the outcome of the assessment process due to its presumption against development in certain areas of the ranges,” said Mr Bennison.
However WA’s Minister for Environment and Heritage, Albert Jacob, defended the EPA’s position saying,“…development proposals in both BIF (Banded Iron Formation) areas continue to be considered on a case by case basis.”
“I would like to reiterate to industry that the EPA is not the decision maker. Ultimately development decisions are made by Government based on environmental, social and economic outcomes.”
“We also consider the EPA’s advice when deciding whether a particular proposal should proceed. I consult my ministerial colleagues and take the broader economic and social considerations into account prior to making the final determination,” Minister Jacob said.