Strengths of Western Australia's Regulatory Framework
- Western Australia is a safe and stable investment destination that observes the rule of law and has strong democratic institutions.
- The State has a political culture and community that supports responsible development and recognises the economic importance of the mining, oil and gas industries.
- Western Australia has had an independent Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) assessing major projects since 1971. It has bipartisan support.
- The Western Australian Planning Commission has state-wide responsibility for urban, rural and regional integrated strategic and statutory land use planning and responds to the strategic direction of the State Government by facilitating a coordinated approach in undertaking and regulating land use development.
- All of the EPA's reports on major projects are made public and open for comment before the Minister for Environment makes the final decision.
- Western Australia was the first Australian jurisdiction to have a transparent, online register of environmental offsets and a clear offset policy framework.
- The Minister for Environment is empowered by laws to make decisions on behalf of the whole Government, taking into account social, economic and environmental considerations.
- Since 1 January 2015, the EPA and the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation are empowered to undertake bilateral environmental impact assessments on behalf of the Commonwealth Government to avoid duplication.
- In the iron ore rich Pilbara region, the Government has established a transparent Pilbara Environmental Offsets Fund to deliver on ground action at a strategic landscape scale - a more efficient, effective and certain approach for industry.
- The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) has a strong multidisciplinary research capacity that integrates science with policy and on-ground management. DBCA's Science program covers the collection, analysis and interpretation of terrestrial, freshwater and marine research and monitoring data, across Western Australia's ecosystem and taxonomic groups.
- Through the Geological Survey of Western Australia, the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety publishes a vast amount of pre-competitive geoscience information. This contributes to the exploration and development of the State's valuable resources.
- Cutting edge biodiversity and conservation research is undertaken collaboratively by science providers, with the support and engagement of industry, traditional owners and community groups.
- Environment Online will transform environmental assessment for Western Australia. This initiative will create a digital platform that will integrate systems and data, using a digital environmental assessment system and the Biodiversity Information Office (BIO), which will capture, curate, and make publicly available biodiversity information.
Free of inappropriate influence
- The EPA is protected by law from being directed by a Minister in the conduct of its environmental impact assessments of significant projects.
- Lobbying is transparent, with a whole-of-Government, online lobbyist register in force.
- There is a long-standing Corruption and Crime Commission which works to improve the integrity of the Western Australian public sector and helps public sector agencies to minimise and manage serious misconduct.