Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston pledged during a speech at the Petroleum Club of WA’s May industry breakfast to streamline and modernise industry regulations as the new McGowan Government seeks to leverage opportunities and relations with Asian neighbours.
"Times have been quite difficult in the resource sector, but we are seeing signs of improvement including in the area of natural gas where West Australian is poised to become a dominant force with heavyweights such as Gorgon and Wheatstone coming online soon.
“We’re very lucky in Australia as we have energy in abundance, which we share with our neighbours in the region. We are now looking to leverage those relationships and build on opportunities for the industry, not just by providing hydrocarbons but also to provide technical knowledge and promote Perth as a place to solve complex problems,” said the Hon. Bill Johnston MLA, Minister for Mines and Petroleum.
During his address, the Minster outlined the Department of Mines and Petroleum's vision for a safe and healthy resources sector in three key areas: world-leading regulation, smarter systems and a well-informed industry.
“The vision of Petroleum 2020 is to streamline and modernise industry regulations, amalgamating them into one act, which will reduce the number of regulations, making them more transparent and easier for the industry here in WA," said Mr Johnston.
The plan is part of a series of high-level three-year rolling strategies developed to guide Resources Safety’s efforts to raise awareness and seek compliance in the Western Australian resources sector, going beyond the day-to-day inspectorate activities.
“The McGowan government understands that the resource sector is critical not just to West Australia but the entire nation.
“The success of WA's resource industry is not only due to supply, but also because of our secure investment landscape, our highly skilled workforce, an industry with a high level of social license, and world-leading service providers with great technical capacity,” said the member for Cannington who also retained the Asian Engagement, Electoral Affairs, Commerce, and Industrial Relations portfolios after the Labour Party’s recent landslide victory.
"As the first Minster for Asian Engagement, I'm looking forward to promoting our close links to Asia for the benefit of all in the region. We are committed to creating jobs for the state of West Australia, and I'm proud to be working with you to develop opportunities for our citizens.”
On the subject of hydraulic fracturing, he told the Petroleum Club that the Government appreciated the importance of the onshore gas industry but to succeed it needed a proper social licence.
Mr Johnston gave an example as an impact of social media his brother, a NSW farmer who posted support for the Lock the Gate campaign on Facebook.
The minister maintained Labor’s stance that there would be no hydraulic fracturing in the South West, the Peel region or Perth. Fracking in the rest of the State was on hold until the broad-based scientific inquiry, which would include the impact of climate change, was complete.
Friday 9th June 2017