Roads and mining issues raised
The region’s roads and mining fees were hot topics of conversation at yesterday’s Kalgoorlie-Boulder Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Ministers Breakfast.
About 60 people braced the early morning cold to get rare access to seven key State Government Ministers and Federal representatives.
At 7.30am, KBCCI president Lee Jacobsen welcomed Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Marmion, Regional Development Minister Terry Redman, Transport Minister Dean Nalder, Treasurer Mike Nathan, Commerce Minister Michael Mischin and Planning Minister John Day before calling them up for a five-minute portfolio update.
Dressed in hi-vis attire, Mr Marmion began his speech talking about his connection to birthplace Kalgoorlie, setting the amusing tone for the rest of the morning as fellow ministers attempted to come up with a similar connection.
But question time involved some finger pointing from Goldfields First member Graeme Campbell, who asked the mines minister where approval for a .25ha threshold came from.
“Do you stand by this statement, or is Phil Gorey lying or is APLA (Amalgamated Prospectors and Leaseholders) lying?” Mr Campbell asked, referring to a Kalgoorlie Miner article that suggested it came from the DMP environment boss.
Mr Marmion said it was confirmed in an email from APLA dated pre-Christmas, but tried to shift the focus away from who was responsible for the initial, now scrapped, low-impact trigger, calling the line of questioning “water under the bridge”.
“I am putting aside the fees because we want to concentrate on a bill that’s come through,” he said.
“It’s actually trying to reform the environmental approvals process, so you don’t have to go to DMP … we’re looking at other issues, without mentioning anyone’s names.”
Regional Development Australia deputy chairman David Nicholson stressed to the State Government the importance of sealing the highway past Wiluna. “At the moment, the ability to drive north is hindered because we have dirt roads, and the impact on potential tourism and simply transporting goods and services to the North West is impacted by that,” he said.
Mr Nalder gave no indication the northern Goldfields roads were
Treasurer Mike Nahan.