Aboriginal Cultural Heritage reforms 

The debate of the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act repeal and amendment bill began on 19 September in the Legislative Assembly, and was passed in the same week. If the current timeframes are met it will enter the Legislative Council on 8 October, and then have passed through Parliament by November.  AMEC has met with the Premier’s Office and Ministers office on a weekly basis during the formulation of the draft legislation, regulations and policies.   Throughout this process AMEC has made multiple confidential submissions on behalf of the industry to shape the final drafts.  Following the regulations and guidelines public release, AMEC has run two briefing sessions for the Aboriginal Affairs Committee and met with all Opposition parties to ensure the views of industry are known.  AMEC has also sought feedback from all WA member companies on their views. 

Key reforms to the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 include: 

  1. The right of review to the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) for decisions for Section 18s will be extended to ‘Native Title parties’ 
  2. ‘New Knowledge’ provisions – A requirement to notify where new Aboriginal cultural heritage is discovered 
  3. Gag clauses will be legislated against
  4. An ability for the Premier to call-in a decision of ‘State significance’ 
  5. Cost recovery will continue, albeit with a much narrower scope, and significantly reduced quantum.

Environmental reforms and reviews 

Reforms to Part V of the Environmental Protection Act 1986 are anticipated in the coming quarter.  A wide-ranging series of amendments to the Section were consulted on in February. However, as a consequence of the reduced time to consult on, and draft the reforms, the scope of the legislative amendments will be tightened. AMEC continues to meet with the Department regarding their framing of the reforms.   

Marsden Jacobs has been announced as the consultant undertaking the legislatively required ten-year review of the WA Mining Rehabilitation Fund. Marsden Jacob have a year to compile a report, and AMEC will workshop views with Members in early October.  The WA Government has also begun to consult on the wording of climate change legislation to enshrine commitments to net zero emissions by 2050. AMEC are coordinating a briefing for members and will supply a submission.  

Position Paper 14: Marking out discussion paper 

AMEC held a workshop and provided a submission to Government on Position Paper 14 which details their expectations for marking out tenure.   AMEC strongly advocates for marking out, as it provides a competitive advantage to smaller, nimbler companies to compete with larger and otherwise better resourced organisations.  The realities of marking out a tenement and the first in time principles that drive marking out are integral to the success of the Western Australian tenure system. 

Mining Development and Closure Plans 

Following legislative reforms passed last year, the Government has consulted on the implementation of the Mining Development and Closure Proposals (MDCP) and Approvals Statements framework. The MDCP will be a single document that works to increase the efficiency of applications for mining operations and the assessment of these operations by removing the duplicate information required under the current process. The Approvals Statement will combine approved activities and conditions of a mining operation in to one document.  AMEC has called for streamlining of these documents and a risk based approach to the documentation.

Environment Online will be offline from 29 Sept – 2 October for data migration

The Department of Water and Environment Regulation has scheduled that data from all Environmental Protection Authority systems will be migrated into Environment Online. This includes all current proposals under referral and assessment as well as historical data. It is anticipated the migration will commence at 5:00pm (AWST) Friday 29 September 2023, with data available to view in the Environment Online portal from 9.00am (AWST) Monday 2 October 2023.

Environment Online will be unavailable during the migration. This will be advertised clearly via the portal prior to, and during the outage.

Following the data migration, DWER will progressively communicate directly with proponents to advise them that their referral/application is now available via Environment Online.

AMEC has made the following submissions on behalf of member companies: 


To learn more please contact Neil van Drunen on
0407 057 443.

Out and About WA