AMEC takes aim at WA mines department for ‘financial incompetence’

The Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (AMEC) has slammed the Western Australian Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) for leaving a mine safety levy and trust fund $10 million in debt.

AMEC chief executive officer Simon Bennison said the financial incompetence of the DMP to manage a mine safety levy and trust fund has been exposed.

“The WA Minister for Mines and Petroleum, Hon Bill Johnston has advised that a levy paid by the mining industry for the full costs attributable to the mines safety branch of DMP will increase by 33 per cent for the 2017/18 year,” Bennison said.

“In managing a $30 million annual operating budget the government has now found that the trust fund is approximately $10 million in deficit. Operating costs have increased by over 50 per cent in five years with no clear explanation.

“This is an unbelievable and unsatisfactory development which will have a major cost impact across the whole mining and mineral exploration industry.”

AMEC has pursued an explanation for how this could have happened and what action the DMP took to ensure its expenses were covered by the annual levy, Bennison added.

“There is a complete lack of transparency and accountability around the Mines Safety Levy, and how it is calculated. This needs to be addressed immediately,” Bennison said.