The Opposition has congratulated the organisers of the 31st Diggers and Dealers Mining Forum, labelling it as a great opportunity to meet with many from the mining industry.
Shadow Mines and Petroleum Minister Shane Love attended the event in Kalgoorlie this week and spent time speaking to many about workplace culture, following the tabling of the “Enough is Enough” report into sexual harassment in the FIFO industry.
“I spoke with a number of women in particular who had been impressed with the standing of the companies they work within, which shows some in the industry are focusing on improving workplace culture,” Mr Love said.
“However, more needs to be done and the leadership needs to come from the top, particularly from owners of mining companies or senior managers – they must lead by example.
“I look forward to the mining sector ‘walking the walk’ after so many talking the talk around Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) and safe workplace cultures this week.”
Mr Love said the three-day conference was also the perfect place to pick up the mood of the mining industry and witness the range of mining projects coming online in WA.
“The sheer number of projects which are upcoming and are seeking investment, or have already commenced production in WA, was impressive,” Mr Love said.
“It was exciting to see old tenements in WA were being looked at with fresh eyes to determine how certain minerals, particularly the increasingly popular critical minerals, could be utilised.
“The expansion of critical minerals projects to help provide materials used in developing future ‘green’ technologies has been vital and WA is playing a role in supplying the global demand.
“The State Government needs to work with communities to ensure these projects deliver for the State as a whole but especially for the Goldfields region as well.”
Mr Love said there was discussion around a range of new elements coming into production in WA’s mining sphere, which would be a welcome diversification of the State’s export market.
“This includes the potash industry which has been harshly taxed by the McGowan Labor Government, instead of being supported to help develop the vital industry.
“There are other opportunities for diversification in the Goldfields – for example, if Esperance had an expanded port, the broader region could grow through the further development of downstream processing for export.
“Plenty of smaller scale mining companies have also wanted to invest in the region but faced red tape and huge upfront capital costs due to a lack of land supply, pressure on infrastructure like power and sewerage, and headworks challenges.
“The McGowan Labor Government should be pulling back on some of its vanity projects in Perth and focus on curing some of these real issues facing development in regional WA.