The Western Australian Government Department of
Environmental Regulation (DER) has issued a Discussion Paper
– Review of the Contaminated Sites Act 2003 – for a
final round of public discussions.
The Contaminated Sites Act 2003 (Act) and the Contaminated Sites
Regulations (Regulations) took effect in December 2006 and are now
due for a statutory five year review.
The DER initially released a Consultation Paper for public
comment on issues and requesting feedback on the effectiveness of
the legislation. The responses and online survey results were
considered in the preparation of the Discussion Paper.
Submissions for this Discussion Paper close on Monday 24
February 2014. Corrs Chambers Westgarth's Perth office can
assist clients interested in making a submission. The DER will
treat all submissions as public documents which will be posted on
the DER website, however, any confidential information that
submitters wish to provide may be provided separately.
The Discussion Paper has identified a number of areas where
legislative change is being considered; in respect of other issues
the DER response has been to review its internal policies and
procedures for improvement.
The Discussion Paper importantly has raised the role of the
Contaminated Sites Committee (CSC) which is a body established by
the Act and presently makes decisions on responsibility for
remediation, and to grant, cancel, amend or transfer exemption
certificates (primary decisions) and to determine appeals against
classifications and statutory notices issued by the DER (review
The Discussion Paper has asked for submissions on whether the
State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) should assume a role to review
the CSC's primary decisions and to become a review body in
place of the CSC in respect of any review decisions. Under the
present Act there are only limited rights to apply to the Supreme
Court to review decisions of the CSC.
The Discussion Paper also sets out a number of other areas for
public submissions including:
Extending a duty to report sites to 'environmental
consultants' in addition to owners, occupiers and appointed
Creating a new classification of
Clarifying disclosure requirements to purchasers, mortgagees
Creating offence provisions for making false or misleading
submissions to the CMC
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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