Despite these broadly supported conceptions, the passage of bills on state agreements over the past decade has not been a mere “stamp”. Amendments are usually developed and agreed with the proponent of the state treaty before being introduced in Parliament. As a result, changes to these agreed terms are rarely made to bills as they were introduced. However, over the past decade, the VA government has increasingly used the pretext of amending an agreement to “modernize” and “standardize” it or impose additional obligations, again with the agreement of its supporter. Nevertheless, new state treaties are now much less frequent than in the 1960s and 1970s. A number of recent state agreements have been concluded to allow the construction of large-scale railways, a necessary problem under the Public Works Act 1902 (AV), which requires that a railway can only be built under the supervision of a special law. which must indicate approximately the railway line and the point of departure and arrival. The special law does not necessarily have to be done through a state agreement, but this is the approach taken in practice by the VA government. The North West Shelf (Woodside) Agreement and the Railway and Port (The Pilbara Infrastructure Pty Ltd) are just two examples of agreements that have introduced local content obligations. The last state agreement to be amended by Parliament, the North-West Gas Agreement, dates back 40 years when it was amended in 2019. The main objective of this amendment was to extend the duration of the agreement, which allowed the continuation of the operation until 2071.
However, the VA government took advantage of this opportunity to impose new obligations on the company by inserting clauses into “modern government agreements” requiring the implementation of community development plans and local participation plans for the project. While government agreements require proponents to respect the existing environmental legislative framework (both at the national and federal levels), environmental and other issues are the subject of further discussion in Parliament. During the debate, members of the Greens said they opposed state agreements in principle because they are “inherently anti-competitive”. Green MEPs also often oppose state agreements on environmental grounds. The latest amended North West Shelf Agreement was strongly rejected by Green members due to concerns about the environmental impact and inflexibility of extending its duration until 2071. The agreement on the alumina refinery (Mitchell Plateau) was denounced in 2015 with the agreement of its promoter, given the recognition of the important conservation and cultural values of the contract area. A state agreement is a favorable agreement between the VA government and a proponent of a major project within the borders of the VA. This is a very visible sign of the support and commitment of the VA and the supporter of the project.
Members of both sides of the Assembly noted in the opposition that it is partisan politics to support state agreements in general, as they constitute an agreement negotiated and agreed between the wa government of the day and the company concerned. The value that state agreements place on Western Australia is often mentioned and will likely continue to exist in parliamentary debates. State agreements are not a one-size-fits-all approach to resource development in VA. Although all agreements have similar provisions, they are negotiated on a case-by-case basis and as such have project-specific clauses. State agreements, which are contracts between the state and a company that wishes to develop a major project, which is usually ratified by a State Agreement Act in Parliament, have been an important aspect of Western Australia`s industry for over 60 years. . . .