CME pushing for change in WA mining approvals

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The Chamber of Minerals and Energy WA is lobbying the WA Government to change its handling of environmental approvals for the mining industry.

The CME is proposing setting up an independent approval office to assist the Government with the approval process.

The group wants approvals to be overseen by a single minister advised by a number of expert agencies.

CME chief executive officer Reg Howard-Smith told The West Australian a complete overview of the approval process was better than a department-to-department approach.

"We’re saying the best model is a single decision-maker model. If it happened that would be a major change," he said.

According to The West Australia Howard-Smith said the approvals process was still "the biggest issue" for most of the smaller miners.

He said an overhaul of the approval process was needed to make WA more competitive on a national and international level.

Late last week the CME also released a report indicating the resources sector would continue to be a key driver in WA’s economy for 2012-13.

“A number of major projects are expected to begin production over the next two years, while demand for iron ore and natural gas remains very strong,” Howard-Smith said in a statement.

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