South Australia welcomes draft laws on Woomera access

09/05/2013

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Minister for Mineral Resources and Energy Tom Koutsantonis today welcomed the release of draft Commonwealth legislation that will enable the development of an estimated $35 billion of mineral resources in the Woomera Prohibited Area.

Mr Koutsantonis said the South Australian Government has been working closely with the Commonwealth and industry to develop an appropriate access regime to the WPA.

"This draft legislation is the result of extensive consultation with industry stakeholders including resource companies, pastoralists and others seeking to access this area," he said.

"I urge anyone with an interest in seeking access to the Woomera Prohibited Area to work through the draft Bill and respond with any comments to the Commonwealth Government."

The Defence Legislation Amendment Bill creates a regulatory framework for access to the Woomera Prohibited Area, including the development of significant mineral resources.

Defence remains the primary user of the area for testing and evaluation while the draft sets out user access rights, an access permit scheme, compensation and cost recovery arrangements, enforcement provisions and an appeals process.

The South Australian Government will host a public consultation workshop at:

  • 9.30am, on Friday, 10 May, at the offices of the Department of Manufacturing, Innovation, Trade, Resources and Energy, Level 7, 101 Grenfell Street, Adelaide.
  • To register for the workshop, please email DMITRE.Exploration@sa.gov.au or ph 08 8463 3138 with the number of persons attending from your organisation.

Mr Koutsantonis said tomorrow's workshop provides an opportunity for stakeholders including resource and logistics companies to gain a better understanding of the proposed legislation.

"The Federal Government intends to introduce the Bill to Parliament later this month, so it is important that South Australians understand the access provisions being proposed," he said.

"Associated rules, which will be jointly agreed by the Commonwealth Defence and Resources and Energy ministers, will be released for public consultation when the Bill is introduced."

The draft Bill and information paper are available at: http://www.defence.gov.au/woomera

Interested parties should lodge submissions to the Commonwealth by the 13 May closing date.