The Western Australian Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will receive a further $3.3 million in state funding to help tack the “steep increase” in State-significant proposals.
State Minister for the Environment Stephen Dawson said that the funding boost will allow the EPA to provide more in-depth analyses of significant proposals such as mining, oil and gas, infrastructure, processing plants as well as irrigated agriculture across the State.
"To ensure the State continues to grow, it is important the department is resourced appropriately to support the EPA to carry out its important job of assessing the environmental soundness of proposals and protect Western Australia's unique environmental values,” Mr Dawson said.
"Today's funding announcement is a 25 per cent increase in the EPA's budget over the next two years (2018-19 and 2019-20) and will ensure it can do its job in a timely and effective way.”
The funding will also be used to support the Appeals Convenor, obtain timely biodiversity advice to inform assessments, and address the backlog in approving environmental management plans for proponents.
To future-proof the EPA from busy periods, the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation is developing an environmental accreditation scheme to enable environmental consultants to conduct assessments to agreed standards.