The Association of Mining and Exploration companies has slammed the blanket listing of 19 million hectares of the West Kimberley, saying it will add an unnecessary layer of approvals for future exploration.
Over the last year, AMEC has expressed its concern over the proposed listing of the region.
“Although there are some areas within the Kimberley that have natural, indigenous and historic values it is not all pristine and iconic,” AEMC national policy manager Graham Short said.
“Many of the selected areas have yet to be subject to any form of scientific assessment in order to determine their conservation values.
“The additional layer of approval will create uncertainty and directly affect future investment decision making processes. This puts at risk many development opportunities that could have opened up the untapped economic and social potential of the region, including significant employment opportunities in remote and indigenous communities.”
Short went on to say that Western Australia’s reputation as a secure region in which to invest will also be severely tarnished by the move.
AMEC called on the Federal Government to ensure that existing state based environmental and cultural heritage processes are not duplicated, and that there are not subsequent approval delays due to this listing.
This move is “contrary to minister Burke’s stated desire to streamline the development approvals process,” he added.