Mine rating system to stay in WA
A mine-rating policy in Western Australia has become permanent, leading to celebrations at some councils.
The WA Local Government Association has welcomed the announcement that a rating policy trialled since 2012 would become permanent, saying it provided greater certainty to Council rating and budgeting processes.
The group says the policy reflects the increased impacts of mining operations on local governments, and brings a degree of equity between mining companies and other ratepayers in a community.
“This policy improves Councils’ ability to rate mining land and recoup some of the substantial costs they incur in having mining activity within their district,” WALGA President Lynne Craigie said.
“In using Gross Rental Value as a rating mechanism, it also provides a comparable basis for levying rates between mining operators and ratepayers.”
Cr Craigie said the Association had been working closely with the Department of State Development, the Association for Mining and Exploration Companies and the Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia to get an outcome that suited everyone.
“Everyone involved recognises the resources industry has changed significantly since many State Agreement Acts were first put in place,” Cr Craigie said.
“This policy sets out a framework to establish a more contemporary and equitable contribution from mining operators to Local Governments and their communities.”
Cr Craigie said the process had been made a great deal easier by bringing all parties together to discuss the proposed approach and provide feedback on its efficacy during the trial period.
“Whilst we recognise that it’s a difficult and sensitive issue, particularly when the resource economy is going through some substantial change, this is an opportunity for all parties involved to support local remote communities and those Local Government organisations servicing them”, she said.
“We welcome such an inclusive approach and look forward to working with the State Government and individual operators on the ongoing implementation of the policy.”