WA’s whole-of-government regulatory framework for shale and tight gas has been outlined in a document prepared in collaboration with, and endorsed by, government agencies charged with assessing and regulating petroleum resources.
|Tuesday, 20 October 2015
Western Australia’s whole-of-government regulatory framework for shale and tight gas has been outlined in a document prepared in collaboration with, and endorsed by, government agencies charged with assessing and regulating petroleum resources.
Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) Executive Director Petroleum Jeff Haworth said the ‘Guide to the Regulatory Framework for Shale and Tight Gas in Western Australia’ was coordinated by the department in collaboration with other agencies also responsible for regulating petroleum activities.
“This framework will assist industry, other stakeholders and the public to understand the robust regulatory assessment, approval and compliance processes for shale and tight gas projects as well as other petroleum projects,” Mr Haworth said.
“As the lead agency for regulating the resources sector in Western Australia, DMP coordinated the involvement by the other agencies.”
The framework document was endorsed by the Environment Protection Authority, Office of the Environmental Protection Authority, and the Departments of Water, Health, Environment Regulation, Aboriginal Affairs, Parks and Wildlife and Planning.
“While WA’s shale and tight gas industry is in the early stages of exploration, with any significant commercial production predicted to be about five to ten years away, it is important that there is clarity for industry and the public about the States’ expectations and the legislation and regulations through which these expectations are enforced,” Mr Haworth said.
He said the multi-agency collaborative approach was a key element in the development of the State’s petroleum resources.
“Agencies are united by a common and overarching responsibility to manage risk, whether to the natural environment, human health or the amenity of communities,” Mr Haworth said.
Department of Water Executive Director Policy and Innovation Tad Bagdon said the early consideration of water related issues in the proposal process had been a significant achievement of the framework development, in line with public expectations.
“The Department of Water’s advice on water is used by DMP and the Environmental Protection Authority to work out what level of environmental assessment is needed on each proposal.
“By building in processes for early and sufficient consideration, the Department of Water makes sure that enough scientific information is available about risks to water resources before decisions are made by the agencies.”
New regulations for the petroleum and geothermal industries that came into effect on 1 July 2015 are now the most stringent in Australia.
The framework sets out the regulatory requirements and expectations of the State Government and covers the need for industry to consult and engage with the community in a timely and ongoing manner throughout the life of a project.
The framework document was tabled today in Parliament by Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Marmion.
The document is available on the DMP website.