Roads and min­ing is­sues raised

Kalgoorlie Miner - - NEWS - Clare Kenyon

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

Pic­tures: Mary Meagher and Louise White

Trea­surer Mike Na­han.

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