Updates

For updates on individual Implementation Actions please visit Implementation Progress.

 

8 May 2020

March 2020 Quarter Progress Update

The Government’s Implementation Plan Actions progress update for the Quarter ending 31 March 2020 reveals completion of a further two actions, bringing the Government’s completion status to 25 per cent.

This follows the release of the Government’s Capability and Capacity for Environmental Assessment and Compliance Activities position paper (Action 20) and establishment of the Government’s Clean Energy Future Fund (CEFF) (Action 18). For further details about CEFF and information about applications for the first round of funding, see Government’s media statement: Fund to help develop clean energy projects in Western Australia.

Implementation of remaining actions is progressing, including examination and consideration of stakeholder feedback resulting from recent public consultation papers relating to Iconic Natural Heritage Places (Action 2) and Stakeholder Engagement and Consultation Guide (Action 4).  A response to stakeholder feedback for each of the papers will be published on the Implementation Plan website following due consideration by the Government.

While the Government is continuing with the implementation of remaining actions, measures introduced to reduce the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus may impact the implementation process as well as time frames for implementation.

For updates on individual Implementation Actions please visit Implementation Progress.

 

25 March 2020

The Government has approved the publication of the Capability and Capacity for Environmental Assessment and Compliance Activities position paper.

This closes Action 20 of the Government’s Implementation Plan to determine the level of resourcing for full implementation of the existing regulatory regime, and if required, develop cost recovery to enhance environmental auditing and compliance functions of Government.

As outlined in the position paper, no changes have been proposed as the existing cost recovery mechanisms under petroleum titles and prescribed premises are sufficient for the current level of staffing required, based on current industry activity. Note that the proposed introduction of broader cost recovery under Part IV of the Environmental Protection Act 1986 (EP Act) through separate legislative amendments, by inserting a head power for cost recovery into the EP Act and exploring models of cost recovery that will be imposed by way of regulations under the EP Act, will occur outside of the Implementation Project (see Environmental Protection Act 1986 amendments consultation).

For updates on individual Implementation Actions please visit Implementation Progress.

 

14 February 2020

December 2019 Quarter Progress Update

Today the Government updated the Implementation Plan Actions progress for the Quarter ending 31 December 2019.

Implementation of the outstanding 17 Actions is continuing to progress well.

On 10 December 2019, the WA Government released the Proposed Iconic Natural Heritage Places Public Consultation Paper for comment and feedback.

This was followed by the release of the Proposed Stakeholder Engagement and Consultation Guide Public Consultation Paper on 19 December 2019.

As outlined in the discussion paper, the aim of identifying iconic natural heritage places is to prevent potential impacts arising from direct development or proximity to increased traffic, noise or light associated with hydraulic fracturing.

Due to the State Government’s decision to lift the hydraulic fracturing moratorium on existing petroleum titles (being exploration permits, retention leases and production licences) in force on 26 November 2018; and maintain the moratorium across the rest of the State, the scope of identifying iconic natural heritage places is limited to those located within existing petroleum titles.

This means that the vast areas across the State where hydraulic fracturing is already prohibited will increase to also include additional areas that are deemed to be iconic natural heritage places within existing petroleum titles.

In addition, as outlined in the Proposed Stakeholder Engagement and Consultation Guide, a registered holder of a petroleum title within ‘an existing petroleum authority area’, will be required to develop and implement a specific hydraulic fracturing Stakeholder Engagement Strategy. This will ensure that communication and engagement with stakeholders is a priority at the earliest opportunity and throughout every stage of the lifecycle of a petroleum project which is associated with hydraulic fracturing.

In accordance with the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Resources (Environment) Regulations 2012 (the Environment Regulations), the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) requires that adequate consultation be undertaken between the operator and relevant authorities, interested persons and organisations. This consultation is to be detailed in an Environment Plan (EP), which must include a report on all consultations between the operator and relevant stakeholders, and outline ongoing communication protocols to be implemented after approval of the EP.

DMIRS assesses the EP to determine, among other things, whether or not the consultation requirements of the Environment Regulations have been adequately addressed.

For updates on individual Implementation Actions please visit Implementation Progress.

 

31 October 2019

September Quarter 2019 Update

In July 2019, the Government released its Implementation Plan. The Implementation Plan describes the actions required to implement the Inquiry’s recommendations and the Government’s Policy Decisions, which include substantive changes to the way hydraulic fracturing is regulated in the State.

These Policy Decisions include:

  • lift the hydraulic fracture stimulation moratorium on all onshore petroleum titles existing as of 26 November 2018; and maintain the ban over the South-West, Peel and Perth Metropolitan regions (Implementation Plan Action 1);
  • ban hydraulic fracture stimulation in national parks, the Dampier Peninsula, and other iconic natural heritage areas (to be defined and delineated on maps) (Implementation Plan Action 2);
  • introduce a requirement for consent of relevant Traditional Owners and private landowners before hydraulic fracture stimulation production is permitted (Implementation Plan Action 5a / 5b);
  • restore the 10 per cent royalty rate for all onshore petroleum (Implementation Plan Action 17);
  • establish a Clean Energy Future Fund (with a $9-million seed allocation), using net royalties from onshore hydraulic fracture stimulation petroleum projects, to support facilitation of clean energy developments (Implementation Plan Action 18); and
  • prohibit hydraulic fracture stimulation within 2,000 metres of gazetted Public Drinking Water Source Areas (Implementation Plan Actions 2 & 7).

To date, three Actions (1, 12 and 16) have been completed, and implementation of the remaining 17 Actions is progressing well.

Completion of Action 1 included amendments to Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Resources (Hydraulic Fracturing) Regulations 2017. The amendment regulations:

  • lifted the hydraulic fracturing moratorium on the areas of the State covered by existing Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Resources Act 1967 exploration permits, retention leases and production licences in force on 26 November 2018;
  • extended the moratorium indefinitely across the rest of the State; and
  • banned hydraulic fracturing in the Dampier Peninsula, national parks, gazetted public drinking water source areas and an area within 2,000 metres of gazetted public drinking water source areas.

These regulations ensure hydraulic fracturing will not be permitted over 98 per cent of Western Australia.

Proponents considering hydraulic fracturing on onshore petroleum titles where the hydraulic fracturing moratorium has been lifted are able to self-refer to the EPA, however assessment will be undertaken in parallel with the implementation of the remaining 17 Actions.

Proponents will not be permitted to commence hydraulic fracturing exploration until the WA Code of Practice has been developed, and hydraulic fracturing production will not be approved until Traditional Owner and private landowner consent requirements have been implemented.

For updates on individual Implementation Actions please visit Implementation Progress.


06 September 2019

Today’s gazettal of the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Resources (Hydraulic Fracturing) Amendment Regulations 2019 marks completion of the Government’s Implementation Plan Action 1. Onshore petroleum titles where hydraulic fracturing moratorium has been lifted map can be accessed here

Page reviewed 08 May 2020

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