Meeting with the Minister for Environment; Disability Services

Recently, your executive committee had the good fortune to meet with the Honourable Stephen Dawson MLC, Minister for Environment; Disability Services and members of his staff. We discussed the Minister’s plans for the roll out of the Biodiversity Conservation Act,  how he saw the planned amalgamations benefiting environmental protection and associated processes and a range of other topics.

The Minister indicated that he wants to see more accountability of agencies to meet set timeframes and suggested that this would be something that he hoped would result from the planned amalgamations.  He noted the need to resource up several agencies to ensure they can meet the demands of their stakeholders.  He also raised the prospect of implementing a cost recovery model to ensure the sustainability of the regulatory process.

We questioned the Minister on his views regarding a central flora and fauna database, which is a topic often raised by our members.  A key issue here is how the cost would be covered, at a time where funding sources are severely depleted.

We highlighted the work that the ECA does in providing our membership with the latest developments in environmental management and planning, as well as maintaining relationships with key regulatory and other government stakeholders and noted the value our members can bring to the table in terms of a balanced view of policy development and implementation.

The Executive felt that the meeting formed a strong foundation for establishing an ongoing relationship, and we agreed to meet regularly to discuss contemporary matters related to the environment industry in WA.