In August 2017, the Government released the Port Hedland Dust Management Taskforce Report to Government for consultation. Fifty submissions were received. 

For more information on the consultation process, including the Taskforce Report and submissions, please follow the link below:

Release of Taskforce Report to Government for public comment

After considering the Taskforce Report and the submissions received, the Government has adopted the following position on the management of dust in Port Hedland: 

HEALTH RISK ASSESSMENT

• The Government endorses the Taskforce recommendation that the current interim guideline of 24-hour PM10 of 70 μg/m3   continues to apply to residential areas of Port Hedland and that measures should be introduced to cap (and if possible, reduce) the number of permanent residents in dust-affected areas of Port Hedland.

INDUSTRY DUST AND NOISE MANAGEMENT AND REGULATION

AIR QUALITY MONITORING

• The Government supports the full transfer of the operation and maintenance of the Port Hedland Industries Council (PHIC) air quality monitoring network to the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER), with appropriate cost recovery arrangements to be made through PHIC. 
• To implement this recommendation quickly, Government has approved capital expenditure under the 2018/19 budget to DWER for the transfer and refurbishment of the monitoring network. 

INDUSTRY DUST MANAGEMENT AND REGULATION

  • The Government supports the Taskforce recommendation for the implementation of a coordinated risk-based review and assessment approach to managing dust in Port Hedland. To give effect to this:

    • DWER will complete the reviews of all port premises licences under Part V of the Environmental Protection Act 1986, applying a consistent and risk-based approach to the regulation of dust for each premises.

    • Where premises are subject to Ministerial Statements, DWER will assist the Environmental Protection Authority to determine a consistent and singular regulatory approach for bulk handling port premises, to eliminate regulatory duplication.

    • DWER will commission an independent third-party review and develop a dust management guideline for bulk handling port premises, outlining its expectations in relation to the assessment of dust impacts, dust control and monitoring requirements from these premises.

    • Through licence reviews, DWER will implement the dust management guidelines for bulk handling port premises under Part V, Division 3 of the Environmental Protection Act 1986.

NOISE

• The Government supports DWER working with industry to explore the feasibility of approvals under Regulation 17 of the Environmental Protection (Noise) Regulations 1997, where the prescribed noise standard cannot be met by individual premises.

• The Government supports the Taskforce recommendation that the Port Hedland Cumulative Noise study is used to inform land-use planning for the West End of Port Hedland.

LAND-USE PLANNING

• The Government supports the Taskforce recommendation that appropriate planning controls be implemented to prohibit sensitive land uses and restrict population growth in the West End of Port Hedland. To give effect to this, the Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC) will consider an Improvement Plan and Improvement Scheme designed to achieve the land use outcomes described in Recommendation 5 of the Taskforce Report.
• In response to community concerns raised in the consultation process, the Government will act to ensure that any future West End planning controls will not prevent the redevelopment of residential properties - provided that the redevelopment would not result in an intensification or expansion of a non-conforming use – should they be more than 75% damaged by a natural disaster such as fire or a cyclone.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND COMMUNITY

• The Government supports the Taskforce Recommendation that the Town of Port Hedland works with key stakeholders to identify and mitigate dust from non-industry sources.

GOVERNANCE

• With the adoption of the measures outlined above, the Government considers that the Taskforce has effectively fulfilled its brief. Implementation of the above measures will rest with the relevant regulatory agencies. The Government thanks Taskforce members for their valuable contributions and notes that many members will continue to have important roles in giving effect to these measures.

LINKS 

The following agencies will be responsible for implementing the recommendations. Please follow the links for updates on their progress with the recommendations. 

Improvement Plan and Improvement Scheme 

Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage
Contact: Patrick McClure, Planning  Manager, phone: 08 6551 9585
Email: info@dplh.wa.gov.au 

Industry Regulation and Port Hedland Air Quality Monitoring 

Department of Water and Environmental Regulation 
Contact: Danielle Eyre, Senior Manager Regulatory Services – Environment Industry Regulation, Resource Industries, 08 6364 7066
https://www.der.wa.gov.au/our-work/community-updates/435-port-hedland-dust-monitoring-campaign

Documents on JTSI website 

Fact Sheet – Government Response

Port Hedland Dust Management Taskforce Report - Government Response - FAQs - Oct 2018 

Other documents 
Department of Health
Health Risk Assessment