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Mine Safety Levy Proposed in Western Australia

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The mining industry will soon start paying millions of dollars a year to fund what the State Government says is a tougher, more effective safety regulatory regime.

The death of an underground miner at BHP's nickel mine at Leinster at the weekend raised fresh concerns about mine safety in WA.

The government announced plans for a new industry-funded safety regime last September.

New regulations charging resource companies a safety levy could come into force as early as next week.

From next week, companies will be required to pay a safety levy of between $200 and 250 per worker, initially raising $8 million, and $35 million dollars each subsequent year.

The Mines Minister Norman Moore says the levy will pay for more inspectors.

Mr Moore says the number of mines inspectors should double in the next year and the new safety system will be focused on risk rather than compliance.

"At the moment it's a very prescriptive, very regulatory system which does not seem to be achieving the sorts of outcomes we think are appropriate."

Mr Moore says he is confident the new approach will improve safety.

"It's about identifying risks, it's about putting in place mechanisms and processes that mitigate against those risks.

"It is different from the current regulatory regime where you tick boxes basically and if you tick boxes you think you've done enough.

Reported by ABC News


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