24 May Victorian and Western Australian State Budgets May 24, 2022 By AMPLA Admin General, Oil and Gas Budget 0 In recent weeks we’ve seen both the Victorian and Western Australian Governments deliver budgets for their State. Both have included significant investments in the energy and resources sector. In Victoria, the budget has signalled the importance of the mineral industry to regional development. Victorian mines directly contribute $510 million into the state economy in 2020-21. Victorian and Western Australian State Budgets In recent weeks we’ve seen both the Victorian and Western Australian Governments deliver budgets for their State. Both have included significant investments in the energy and resources sector. In Victoria, the budget has signalled the importance of the mineral industry to regional development. Victorian mines directly contribute $510 million into the state economy in 2020-21. Initiatives include: $7.4 million to assist in growing the critical minerals industry. This will fund minerals development grants programs, investments in geoscience data and investment facilitation to search for and develop rare earths and minerals that are critical to manufacturing renewable energy components and other advanced manufacturing sectors; $7.8 million has been earmarked to support the strong regulation of gas resources as the state looks to reduce its reliance on natural gas and transition to more sustainable options; $2 million to streamline minerals and extractives regulation. This is aimed at helping to provide affordable materials for infrastructure and housing projects; and The budget also confirmed that taxes imposed on the mining industry will continue, with the gold royalty expected to deliver $140 million in 2022-23. Western Australia’s budget has significant investments to expand export markets and support the development of certain sectors and improve infrastructure and transport. It includes: $332 millions to upgrade Geraldton Port; $250 million towards the Pinjarra Heavy Haulage Deviation; $120 million to upgrade Moorine Rock to Mount Holland road to support the Covalent lithium mine; $80 million towards the existing Investment Attraction Fund to support industry-led diversification proposals in new and emerging industries; $78.1 million for supporting infrastructure at Lumsden Point in the Pilbara; $52 million to construct a supply base to support oil and gas operations in the Browse Basin and chemical storage facilities in Broome; $50 million to increase the Industrial Land Development Fund to spark private investment in new growth opportunities; $50 million to expand the capacity of the Great Northern Highway between Newman and Port Hedland; $36 million towards the Mid-West and Great Southern Secondary Freight Network Program; $20.2 million to raise the capacity of the Department of Mining, Industry Regulation and Safety’s Resources Advice and Regulation Services; $17.1 million to expand Western Australia’s international trade offices and grow export and investment market opportunities; $15 million to support the expansion of the Port of Port Hedland; $12 million for the WA-Array program that provides imaging of geology to help exploration companies identify new resources; $10 million towards a potash industry royalty rebate scheme; $6 million to the Minerals Research Institute to research strategic opportunities in critical minerals and clean energy technologies; $5 million to the Centre for decommissioning Australia to support the development of an LNG decommissioning industry; $2.9 million for post grant mining titles compliance; and $1.8 millions to support a Mining Warden to facilitate greater mineral exploration; The sector contributes over $12.5 billion to Western Australia including $10.3 billion in iron ore royalties and $915 million in shelf grants from oil and gas projects. Both budgets highlight the significance of the sector to state economies, both in terms of income and employment and future opportunities. Related Articles COMMUNITY LEGAL RIGHTS IN MINE CLOSURE PLANNING; A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF THREE AUSTRALIAN STATES Professor Alex Gardner, University of Western Australia Law School, and Laura Hamblin, formerly research associate at the UWA Law School, 2021 Why does the Mining Act 1978 (WA) not provide secure legal rights for community consultation in relation to mining lease proposals and mine closure plans? Addressing this question presents an important theme for this comparative review of some core features of the regulatory frameworks for mine closure in three Australian States. It also raises important questions for future legal research. Western Australia, Queensland and Victoria have prominent but vastly different, and thus uniquely significant, mining industries. Western Australia’s mining industry has a long history of large and smaller scale mining of a diverse range of minerals by various methods that pose significant mine rehabilitation challenges.[i] Queensland’s mining industry is similarly large and diverse, dominated by export coal production, and planning future minerals development in a decarbonising world.[ii] Victoria has a smaller mining industry with a large historical legacy dominated by a coal mining industry for domestic electricity generation in the Latrobe Valley, which is closing as the State actively transitions to renewable power sources.[iii] These States also have significant differences in the regulation of their mining industries. What all three States do have in common is the significance of their mining industries to both the State economy and the communities who depend on or live near mining operations. Importantly, all three States are confronting large legal and regulatory challenges in managing mine rehabilitation and closure. The key to addressing these challenges is effective mine closure planning: the closure of a mine site has ripple effects that are not merely environmental and economic, but social and cultural too. The initial approval of a mine closure plan occurs before any mining has begun and, with the life cycle of a mine often spanning decades, regulatory bodies are approving hypothetical closure scenarios, potentially subject to vast changes. Regulatory bodies may then seek to enforce closure requirements enshrined in a plan that may wane in relevance as mining operations progress, the updating of which may depend on the miner. Yet remedying the regulatory system so that it creates adaptable but consistently effective mine closure outcomes for affected communities still begins at planning. Although that planning is an iterative process across the life of the mine, it is very important at the initial stage of approval. Recent legislative reforms in all three States are adding to the regulatory rigour and adaptability of mine closure planning, though there are very different legal requirements for community consultation. This article aims to explain and assess the regulatory reforms by undertaking a comparative analysis of mine closure planning across Western Australia, Queensland and Victoria, with a focus on the initial approval stage and how stakeholders and communities are brought into that process. The facilitation of continuous and comprehensive community engagement is critical to ensuring that mine closure planning accounts for environmental, economic, social, cultural and safety outcomes after mine closure, but it has not been possible to consider here the process of ongoing mine closure planning, especially for amending mine closure plans and determining satisfaction of mine closure plans leading to resource tenure relinquishment.[iv] The article begins by considering core concepts of mine closure planning and the regulatory goals that inform it. It then provides a comparative overview of each State’s mine closure planning requirements under the mineral resources, environmental and land use planning laws and draws out some of the different regulatory structures and processes for mine closure within each State. The third step in our analysis compares the ways in which those laws provide for local communities’ participation in mine closure planning, with specific attention to whether the regulatory provisions create legally enforceable rights for effective community engagement. The article concludes with a summary of the key points from the discussion of three themes in our analysis: (i) the importance of clear definitions of core concepts and key goals, (ii) mine closure planning as an essential part of a mining proposal, and (iii) the legal definition of community engagement and consultation rights. Mine closure planning and implementation is necessarily influenced by many other spheres of law including taxation law, investment law, water law, and the rights of traditional owners, to name a few. A potentially directly relevant Commonwealth law is the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth), which may require environmental impact assessment of a mining proposal and closure plan and lead to approval conditions supplementing State requirements.[v] Whilst acknowledging the importance of these adjacent spheres of the regulatory frameworks for effective mine closure planning, this article does not attempt to address their impact. In particular, the rights of Traditional Custodians are a crucial part of mine closure planning that are only briefly noted here and that would benefit from future research. WA Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety, Major Commodities Review 2022-23”. Qld Government, Department of Resources, Queensland Resources Industry Development Plan, June 022. Vic Government, Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions, Latrobe Valley Regional Rehabilitation Strategy. See L Hamblin, A Gardner, Y Haigh, Mapping the Regulatory Framework of Mine Closure, May 2022, CRC TiME, for a broader exploration of the full life cycle of mine closure regulation. In Buzzacott v Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities  FCAFC 111; (2013) 214 FCR 301, , -, referring to the range of approval conditions, which included mine closure. In setting conditions under the EPBC Act, the Commonwealth Minister must consider any relevant conditions under State or Territory law: at  citing Lansen v Minister for Environment and Heritage (2008) 174 FCR 14. FORREST AND FORREST PTY LTD AND MINISTER FOR ABORIGINAL AFFAIRS  WASAT 28 Western Australia’s State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) has rejected a review, by Forrest & Forrest Pty Ltd, against the refusal of consent to impact an Aboriginal site in constructing weirs across the Ashburton River. A unanimous three-member panel published its decision in April 2023. SAT’s decision and reasoning has direct significance and use for anyone involved in processes for a s 18 consent under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 and broader relevance for the law around protection of Aboriginal heritage in Western Australia. With the WA Government announcing the reversal of recent statutory changes and a return to the 1972 legislation, SAT’s decision has increased relevance. ARELJ Article- Golden Pig: The continuing effects of Forrest on the Western Australian Mining Industry The states boost the energy and resources sector This year will be remembered for the many challenges that it brought to both individuals and industry. As Australia starts to return to some normality, many states are looking to boost industry, increase jobs and innovate for the future. In this article, we look at various state initiatives designed to boost the energy and resources sector. The States continue to invest in the industry As a testament to the importance of the energy and resources industry to the economy and job growth, State governments continue to invest in the industry as part of their COVID-19 recovery plans Outline of new state legislation New legislation has been proposed across several states in Australia. These cover a range of issues including climate change and the development of hydrogen and renewable energy industries. In this article we outline the latest changes in New South Wales, South Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory. Showing 0 Comment Comments are closed.