DMP wins Premier’s Award

Western Australia in Asia award recognises DMP’s work to build a strong relationship with China
Date: Thursday, 03 November 2016

The Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) has won a prestigious Premier’s Award for consistently promoting a strong relationship between Western Australia and China.

Premiers Award
L-R: DMP Acting Director General Dr Tim Griffin, Premier Colin Barnett, Acting Deputy Director General Dr Rick Rogerson and Investment Promotion Manager Dr Gaomai Trench at the Premier’s Awards presentation last night

DMP won the Western Australia in Asia category at an awards ceremony in Perth last night (2 November) for its submission on Strategic Engagement with China’s Resource Sector.

The Premier's Awards, now in their 25th year, acknowledge excellence in public sector management.

DMP Acting Director General Dr Tim Griffin, who accepted the award from Premier Colin Barnett, said after the ceremony that the department had provided its Chinese partners with insight into WA’s policy, regulatory and pre-competitive geoscience and resources information systems, allowing them to make better investment decisions.

DMP teams recently including Geological Survey of Western Australia (GSWA) Executive Director Rick Rogerson, Investment Promotion Manager Dr Gaomai Trench, former Director General Richard Sellers and former Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Marmion, have visited China regularly over many years.

“China is Western Australia’s largest trading partner so cooperation between the two nations at all levels of government is of great importance,” Dr Griffin said.

“This award underscores the importance of Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) in recent years between DMP and China’s Ministry of Land and Resources (CMLR), particularly the MoU on Promotion of Investment between the State Government and the Chinese National Development and Reform Commission signed by Premier Barnett in 2011.”

Dr Griffin said that these agreements had deepened understandings and working relationships between the Minister for Mines and Petroleum and his Chinese Vice-Ministerial counterparts, CMLR and DMP, and geoscientists employed by the Chinese and WA governments.

“The agreements have also significantly benefited Western Australia’s and China’s economies,” he said.

Dr Griffin said that MoUs on Cooperation in the Fields of Training and Research Related to Land and Resources  and Cooperation in Earth Sciences  had contributed strongly to making Western Australia the destination of choice for responsible resource development.

Dr Rogerson said that DMP had a long history of engagement with China.

“Geologists from the predecessor agencies of DMP and CMLR began hosting exchange visits back in the 1980s,” he said.

“There was great interest in learning about how each regulated its resource sector and its use of geoscience information, and this led eventually to the signing of the MoUs in 2002.”

Dr Rogerson said that the department’s MoUs with China differed from similar agreements in other jurisdictions because they were made at the top level of Chinese Government.

“Innovative use of the MOUs allowed DMP to visit resource departments, and State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) in China,” he said.

“On many occasions, information sharing resulted in investment inquiries and large investment stakes in some cases.”

Dr Rogerson said that the MoU between GSWA and the China Geological Survey had facilitated joint field work, specialist geochemical and isotopic workshops, and cooperation on geological mapping.

The MoU had also encouraged mineral investment by giving Chinese SOEs an insight into GSWA’s geological and resource information.

“This all definitely had a strong impact on investment decisions and is an excellent example of how the agreements have been so good for Western Australia’s economy,” he said.

Dr Rogerson paid tribute to the continuing work by Investment Promotion Manager Dr Gaomai Trench.

Dr Trench has been officially recognised by the Chinese Government for her efforts in acting as a conduit between the resource sectors of China and Western Australia.