Aerial view of contaminated river

Should The State Administrative Tribunal have a decision-making role under the contaminated sites act 2003?

On 21 January 2014 Glen presented his views on contaminated site appeals in Western Australia at a forum organised by the Australian Land and Groundwater Association. The organiser of the event,  Dr Janet Macmillan said that the

‘… forum brings together a Panel of technical and legal experts to provide their interpretation of what involving the State Administrative Tribunal could mean for the operation of the Contaminated Sites Act and how decision making could be improved.’ 

The forum was being held against the background of the State Government’s Review of the Contaminated Sites Act 2003 (WA) (Act). After examining the present system of Ministerial Appeals, Glen’s conclusion was that the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) now has a proven track record which places it at the forefront of comparable Tribunals anywhere. It has the flexibility to resolve complex or simple matters, big or small, with relative speed and efficiency, without undue expense. It has been proven to have ‘user friendly’ transparent processes.  The SAT was formed from some 40 or more statutory boards plus a number of appellate bodies. There is no reason why contaminated site appeals from the Contaminated Sites Committee should not fall into the same category. Western Australia is the only state to except environmental appeals from its SAT jurisdiction.