Best Practice For Responsible Development

The Environment Division of the WA Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) undertakes a wide range of activities concerned with managing exploration, development and closure of mining activities in Western Australia. The Branch oversees the assessment of applications and the audit of proponent activities to ensure compliance with environmental and other applicable regulations.

A key role of the Department is to promote best environmental management practices by delivering environmental regulatory and policy services in a way that maximises the responsible development of the State's mineral and petroleum resources.

Previously, the Department had four distinct information systems in use to support delivery of their required business outcomes. The objective was to consolidate all environment related information as it relates to mining and petroleum activities, to allow for centralised reporting on key performance indicators and to streamline and improve the approvals, permits and regulatory processes.

A common system was sought to provide for a more efficient way to track approvals, monitor timelines, search for historical data, and generate reports. In order to help the Department to achieve its objectives, SRA Information Technology was selected to design and build the Environmental Assessment and Regulatory System (EARS).

Meeting the Challenge >>

DMP sought to implement a customised system that would cover all aspects of the processing, assessment and management of applications for exploration, development and closure of mining activities in WA.

The system required interfaces to several existing business systems and databases within the Department and needed to be a web based solution that would address the current and future needs of the Department.

SRA provided a web-based application which incorporated a single generic system for processing and reporting on all environment approvals, permits and regulatory activities undertaken by DMP.  EARS is an easy to use system that allows the tracking of mineral and petroleum environmental applications in the following areas.

  • Mining Proposals
  • Programmes of Work
  • Environmental Management Plans (State)
  • Environment Plans (Commonwealth)
  • Oil Spill Contingency Plans


SRA staff also provided project management, user interface design, documentation and testing services to successfully complete the project.

The system is also available to the general public.

Outstanding Features >>

The system features workflow processes for recording of all assessment related information within the system, including all material provided with the application, scanned images, photographs, the assessment report and associated assessment decisions to provide an auditable and transferable (between staff) process.

The following key business activities were addressed:

  • Program of Works (Ground Disturbance Approval Applications);
  • Mining Proposals (Notices of Intent & Low Impact Mining Operations);
  • Environmental Plans, Environmental Management Plans, Oil Spill Contingency Plans;
  • Native Vegetation Clearing Permits;  
  • Annual Reporting;
  • Auditing and Inspections (Breach of Tenement Conditions and pre and post site inspections for example);
  • Risk Management;
  • DMP Regulatory Services;
  • Closure Plans; 
  • Implementation of spatial storage and retrieval capabilities within the context of the DMP’s Spatial Data Framework ;
  • Integration with Corporate applications such as OurDocs, DigitalPaper™ and CRM.  

Comprehensive Benefits >>

The development of EARS resulted in a more functionally rich user interface. In addition the system improved enquiry facilities to allow the searching of specific information across both textual and other information sources. Multiple output formats were also available and included CSV, word and PDF formats for both internal and external users.

Leading Edge Technology >>

The system is comprised of the following technology architecture:

  • Java
  • SQL*Server 
  • ArcGIS
  • ArcSDE
  • Ant
  • WebShere 

Further Information>>

The EARS Online System can be viewed here


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