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WA to fast track resource project approvals, unlock 18,000 jobs

The Western Australian Government will cut application wait times for major resource projects, as part of a move to unlock 18,300 construction jobs.

State Government regulatory authorities will be able to access more than $1.6 million in funding to manage an increase in key environmental, mining and heritage approvals.

The WA Government expects at least 17 projects currently seeking regulatory approvals would benefit from the investment. In total, these projects will create an estimated 18,300 construction jobs and more than 4,500 operational jobs.

The expansion of the gold and iron ore sectors due to high commodity prices has helped create a recent surge in applications.

Funding will go toward additional surge capacity across the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation including Environmental Protection Authority services, the Department of Planning, Land and Heritage, the Department of Mining, Industry Regulation and Safety, and the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation.

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All four authorities have also agreed to work together on a number of new measures that will facilitate better co-ordination and the prioritisation of approvals for major projects across government.

Premier Mark McGowan said WA’s strong response to the pandemic has meant confidence has returned to our economy, with major projects in the pipeline in coming years.

“As a Government, we are focused on ensuring these projects are not delayed, so we can create jobs and support the economy while maintaining high environmental and heritage standards,” he said.

“Our resources sector is the engine room of the nation, and it’s crucial we support the sector to continue our recovery and create jobs and training opportunities for Western Australians.

“As an attractive and safe destination for resource investment before, during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, it is expected that the number of applications for major projects will only continue to increase into the foreseeable future.”

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