For the first time in 60 years, the law unilaterally amended a state agreement. It relieved the state of defined obligations, nullified potential rights of appeal and verification, and excluded the principles of natural justice. The agreement on the Alumina refinery (Mitchell Plateau) was denounced in 2015, with the agreement of its promoter, because of the recognition of the important values of conservation and cultivation of the territory subject to the agreement. Despite these broadly supportive views, the passage of state-agreement bills over the past decade has not been a mere “rubber stamp exercise.” The amendments are usually developed and coordinated with the supporter of the state agreement before being introduced into Parliament. As a result, bills, as they have been introduced, are rarely amended. However, over the past decade, the VA government has benefited from amending an agreement to “modernize” and “normalize” it or impose additional obligations, again with the agreement of the supporter. While government agreements require supporters to respect the existing environmental legal framework (both in the countryside and at the federal level), environmental and other issues are the subject of wider debate in Parliament. During the debate, members of the Green Party stated that they were opposed in principle to the state agreements because they were “inherently anti-competitive”. Members of the Green Party also oppose state agreements on environmental grounds.
The recently amended agreement (the North-West-Shelf Agreement) was strongly rejected by Members of the Greens due to concerns about the environmental impact and the inflexibility of the extension of the term until 2071. The company`s activities have mainly focused on delineating and developing prospects from its first-class iron ore portfolio, estimated at more than 160 billion tonnes of magnetic resources, 80 km south of Dampier in the Western Australian region of Pilbara. The legal status of legal agreements is sometimes difficult to define – are they laws or treaties? There are different categories (see Seddon, government treaties: the federal state, the federal states and the municipalities, paragraph 3.9).