The WA Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) has been slammed for leaving a mine safety levy and trust fund $10 million in debt.

 “The WA Minister for Mines and Petroleum, Hon Bill Johnston has advised that a levy paid by the mining industry for the full costs attributable to the mines safety branch of DMP will increase by 33 per cent for the 2017/18 year,” says Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (AMEC) chief Simon Bennison.

“In managing a $30 million annual operating budget the government has now found that the trust fund is approximately $10 million in deficit. Operating costs have increased by over 50 per cent in five years with no clear explanation.

“This is an unbelievable and unsatisfactory development which will have a major cost impact across the whole mining and mineral exploration industry.”

AMEC wants to know how this happened, and in particular what action the DMP actually took to make sure its expenses were covered by the annual levy.

“There is a complete lack of transparency and accountability around the Mines Safety Levy, and how it is calculated. This needs to be addressed immediately,” Bennison said.