Empowering the community to report environmental non-compliance

New compliance engagement role introduced through Aboriginal Employment Program
Date: Tuesday, 09 July 2024

The department is always looking for ways to strengthen our ability to monitor environmental non-compliance. Recently, the Resource and Environmental Compliance (REC) Division created a new role to help guide the way the general public notifies the department of potential wrongdoing.

When working for a State as vast as Western Australia, with a very active resources sector, there are several ways the department ensures operators are complying with approvals and regulatory requirements.  

Using a risk-based compliance approach, we identify areas for proactive work and undertake routine inspections. Non-compliance is also monitored through industry self-reporting, and the department responds to incident reports we receive from members of the public.  

Environmental Compliance Engagement Officer, Trent Ward-Vigona, recently joined the department as part of the Aboriginal Employment Program. This new role has been created to help the general public provide compliance feedback on mining activities within their communities.

“My first step is reviewing the current process for receiving incidents from the public and looking at the ways it can be improved, before making my way out to engage with the community,” says Trent.

“There will be a strong focus on education, particularly in remote Aboriginal communities, about what a non-compliance activity actually looks like, followed by how and why they should report it to us.”

Trent has been connecting with environmental officers at DEMIRS to create strong relationships and better understand the business.

“I’m really enjoying working with our environmental professionals; they have a wealth of knowledge and experience that I intend on using to assist the public and stakeholders to be more informed,” he continues.

“What we hope to see is the community taking a more active approach to addressing environmental concerns on resource projects because they know what they are looking for and have the confidence the department will investigate.”