Mineral and energy resources compliance reports released
South Australia’s mineral and energy resource sectors are important contributors to our state's economy and are regulated to operate with the highest standards to protect the environment and community.
In May the South Australian Government released annual regulatory reports summarising the compliance performance of mineral and energy resource sectors throughout 2016.
The two reports – Mineral resources regulation report and the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Act 2000 compliance report – for 2016 provide relevant indicators on how companies within the state’s mineral and energy resource sectors are working to meet their compliance obligations to mitigate and manage genuine environmental risks associated with their operations.
The reports also summarise the state’s regulatory stewardship and activities in conducting inspections, dealing with complaints and incidents, as well as carrying out assessment work.
South Australia’s mineral and energy rights belong to all South Australians and the reports illustrate that exploration and production of these resources are the subject of proper regulation and compliance measures at every step of the lifecycle process. For oil and gas, this also includes the construction, operation and technical regulation of high-pressure transmission pipelines.
Referring to the reports, Minister for Mineral and Energy Resources, Tom Koutsantonis, said they are a tangible demonstration of the state’s regulatory oversight that holds operators accountable to protect the environment and community.
He further explained that South Australia’s regulatory framework enables exploration and production of resources to be carried out in a manner that prevents undue harm to the environment, protects people and ensures appropriate rehabilitation.
Across the lifecycle of operations and beyond, the reports show regulators perform a large amount of work from conducting detailed assessments of applications, to tenement administration, compliance monitoring and inspections, undertaking enforcement actions, royalty audits and progressive policy development.
South Australia’s leading regulatory framework continues to attract and retain responsible companies that build strong relationships with their communities. South Australia’s focus on regulatory leadership that is transparent and consistent in its application and enforcement enables the state to reap the benefits of investment from its resource assets, while having the appropriate safeguards in place.
Increasingly communities want to know more about operations in their local area. Building trust is an important element in the successful integration of resource sector activities into a community. The mineral resources report incorporates metrics on how regulators support effective community engagement by attending community consultative committees for mines located in populated districts, in which mining and its interaction with residents is openly discussed. Similarly, the petroleum and geothermal energy report discusses participation by regulators at information sessions and publishing of continually updated ‘frequently asked questions’ information.
Both reports provide a transparent account of what state government mineral and energy resource regulators do on a day-to-day basis. The general public can be assured that these are well regulated sectors, and investors can see transparency and accountability.
– Grace Taylor, Paul De Ionno and Michael Malavazos