Program to target workplace mental health

The Western Australian Government has launched a grant program to help prevent mental health injury at work and promote positive work practices, including an allocation that targets the mining industry.  The Mentally Healthy Workplaces Grant program will provide funding of up to $175,000 per year to entities for initiatives that will support mentally healthy workplaces.

“The health and safety of all Western Australian workers, including their mental health, is a high priority for the McGowan Government,” Acting Mines and Petroleum and Industrial Relations Minister Rita Saffioti said.

The grant program includes a competitive application process, administered by the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS).  The Mines and Petroleum and Industrial Relations Minister will determine the amount and duration of the grants that will be awarded by July 2022.

The program will provide funding for organisations to implement initiatives that prevent mental injury and mental health conditions at work by managing work-related psychosocial hazards and their associated risks and promoting positive practices at work that support mental health and wellbeing.  Due to different funding sources, there will be two allocations of funds; one for initiatives that specifically target workers at non-mining workplaces, and another for initiatives that specifically target workers at mining workplaces.

Applicants can register their expression of interest online here.

WA seeks streamlined Mining Act

The Western Australian Government has proposed to amend the Mining Act 1978 to improve regulation and update approvals processes.  The Mining Amendment Bill has three goals, according to the Department of Mines Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS).

According to DMIRS, these goals are “to streamline administrative processes, safeguard the security of titles and licences, and generate certainty for the resource sector.”  The goals will be achieved using three action points including the adoption of GDA2020 for more accurate geodetic datum, allowing lease conversion without marking the land in the case of a significant event, and marking some lands as “unavailable for exploration.”

GDA2020 (Geocentric Datum of Australia 2020) is the result of $225 million of investment by the Federal Government to provide 10-centimetre accurate positioning to anyone in Australia at any time.  Should the Mining Amendment Bill be passed, GDA2020 will be adopted in Western Australia and a smooth transition from the previous version will be enabled.

The second action point allows licence holders to be protected from the adverse effects on their conversion application due to natural disaster, civil disturbance, industrial dispute or other circumstance beyond their control.   Finally, it is proposed that the Mines Minister be given the ability to determine lands as “unavailable for exploration” when granting exploration licences.

Public feedback submissions close on March 11, 2022.