CMPA Annual Dinner – Minister’s Speech

By on October 16, 2019

JACLYN SYMES MP, Minister for Resources. The Minister’s speech given at the CMPA Annual Dinner in Marysville on 14 September 2019.

This year marks the 20th Anniversary of the formation of the CMPA – that’s two decades of providing a strong voice and support for the industry.

Victoria is the country’s fastest-growing state, and I don’t need to tell you this means more homes, schools, hospitals, and transport infrastructure. Our government is in the middle of a bold and ambitious infrastructure boom – and all our new level crossings, tunnels and roads – we couldn’t do this without CMPA members.

It is part of my job to continually remind the public that there are thousands of people in your industry helping to deliver the sand, rock and gravel – an average of eight tonnes per Victorian to deliver the Labor Governments huge infrastructure agenda. In Victoria, we currently have 491 operating quarries producing around 58 million tonnes of extractive resources each year – We know we will likely need double this by 2050.

We want to help industry grow – and that’s exactly why this year’s State Budget provided $13.2 to help deliver critical resource, land use and transport planning initiatives.

We are continuing to work with local councils, industry and the community to make sure potential quarry sites are not built over and that land is available to provide raw material close to where it is needed. It is in every Victorian’s interest that new infrastructure and housing remain affordable.

We also need to keep driving innovation in the industry, to meet the challenges of delivering more affordable raw building materials. We’re continuing the implementation of the Commissioner for Better Regulation’s report, Getting the Groundwork Right, and I’m aware many of you in the room have worked proactively with the Commissioner to deliver this. The government, through Earth Resources Regulation, has doubled its approvals this year compared to its average over the past five years. Assessments have also been completed for four of the 11 quarries on the priority hotlist, a focus of the Joint Ministerial Statement on Extractive Resources. We’ve completed the statutory endorsements of the work plans for three other quarries on the hotlist, and a further four are either preparing work plans or seeking planning approval.

Today I signed off the release of the Draft Regulations and Regulatory impact statement. I know many of you in the room have already been involved in the development of them – the changes proposed aim to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the regulations and further reduce regulatory burden and ensure that industry and the community have confidence in safe and sustainable rehabilitation practices. These proposals will be open this week for broader public consultation before being finalised and enacted by the end of January next year.

The Government is also committed to supporting the industry to build community awareness about quarries and extractives and developing a greater understanding and appreciation for the jobs and important infrastructure that quarries provide.

I welcome the CMPA’s educative work to better promote the industry as being a responsible community member – and more than that, being necessary for the growth of our state.

We’re excited to keep working closely with the CMPA on reforms and operating changes, and we’re grateful to have your support for this work – it is important to have industry leaders, stakeholders and government on the same page.

I really wanted to come tonight and convey on behalf of the Government that we acknowledge the important contribution to the state, employing people, boosting the economy and the huge role you play building Victoria.

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