- McGowan Labor Government invests in new biodiversity data portal
- Addresses long standing need for the capture of environmental assessment data
In a Western Australian-first, the biodiversity survey information that informs environmental impact assessments will be consolidated and made more accessible, thanks to a new State Government information management system launched today.
Science and Innovation and ICT Minister Dave Kelly officially unveiled the system last night, titled the Index of Biodiversity Surveys for Assessments. The system will break down information barriers and lead to lasting benefits for industry, government, the community and the environment.
Each year about $38 million is spent by industry in WA, collecting biodiversity data for environmental assessments under the Environmental Protection Act.
This crucial information assists government and industry in making the best decisions to protect Western Australia's unique environment, while still allowing the economy to prosper.
However, until now this important biodiversity data was not centrally collated or easily accessible. This led to inefficiencies and hindered the work of regulators and industry in gaining a better understanding of Western Australia's biodiversity values.
This new system will capture and consolidate data contained in more than 500 biodiversity surveys conducted every year, and provide a platform to make this information publicly accessible.
The Index of Biodiversity Surveys for Assessments was conceptualised by the Western Australian Biodiversity Science Institute, which has worked with the State Government to develop the project.
The State Government places a great value on partnerships with organisations such as the Western Australian Biodiversity Science Institute.
For more information, visit http://www.dwer.wa.gov.au/ibsa
Comments attributed to Acting Environment Minister Francis Logan:
"The Index of Biodiversity Surveys for Assessments is a groundbreaking initiative that will promote the sharing of vital biodiversity data obtained as part of the environmental assessment process.
"Creating a central and accessible index for this data will deliver greater efficiencies for the public and private sector, aid with decision making and most importantly it will have lasting benefits for Western Australia's flora and fauna."
Comments attributed to Science and Innovation and ICT Minister Dave Kelly:
"Before the Index of Biodiversity Surveys for Assessments, biodiversity surveys conducted for environmental assessments were not easily available or in one place.
"This led to duplication of effort and other inefficiencies in the assessment process in Western Australia.
"In addressing this, the new index exemplifies the State's Open Data Policy, as it improves access across the board to biodiversity information from environmental assessments.
"As a step toward a culture of more open and transparent sharing of the State's valuable biodiversity information, the initiative also directly addresses one of the key recommendations in the State's Service Priority Review - to strengthen data sharing.
"I would like to thank the Western Australian Biodiversity Science Institute for its role in conceptualising this system and their work to ensure all sectors take part and share information through it."