CMPA Annual Dinner – Treasurer’s Speech

By on October 3, 2018

An edited version of the Treasurer’s speech at the CMPA Annual Dinner on 25th August 2018. Author: Tim Pallas MP, Treasurer of Victoria and Minister for Resources.

Our state is reaching great heights. Last month Commsec declared that Victoria was top of its State of the States ranking – with economic growth 26.5% above the 10-year average.

Last week the ABS reported that construction work completed in Victoria over the last year grew by a massive 18.6%, while the national total fell. And it reported that we have created 48,000 jobs in regional Victoria since coming into office in 2014.

We’re targeting initiatives at regional areas: doubling the first home buyers grant and giving regional employers the lowest payroll tax in the country. We’re sharing our economic successes
with every corner of the state. And CMPA members and this industry have done more than many to help us do that. We couldn’t have done it without you.

When I launched our Helping Victoria Grow strategy in June I noted that we need to build a further 2.2 million homes in Victoria by 2050. The cost of these inputs is crucial and – as both Treasurer and Minister for Resources – I have an interest in keeping them down.

We’re rolling out an unprecedented infrastructure pipeline. In the 2018/19 Victorian State Budget alone, the Labor Government committed $941 million to improve regional roads – a topic I know
is of interest to CMPA members. Roads are the lifeblood of regional communities and we can’t deliver improvements without nearby quarries. And so, we need you. So how are we helping you?

On the 16th August 2018, the Minister for Planning Richard Wynne and I published a Joint Ministerial Statement on Extractive Resources to fast-track the development of our quarries.

Across government, we understand how much this is needed. It will deliver a better approach to co-locating quarries and communities and managing land usage alongside existing quarries and new sites. We have drawn up a “Hot List” of expanding quarries for priority planning consideration and work approval processing. We will enable the supply of materials at the right time to coincide with building projects – this will safeguard local materials and reduce excessive truck movements.

We need affordable raw building materials close to their destination. And we need to get these resources out of the ground before our growing suburbs encroach around and then lock down the quarries. Currently we have 535 operating quarries producing around 50 million tonnes of stone, limestone, sand and gravel each year. If the current demand increase continues, that will need to double before 2050. We’re going to need a dynamic, competitive and very busy quarries industry to grow.

I acknowledge that while there are a lot of positives for the future of the quarries industry, we are still working through some regulatory issues and I thank you for your patience. We are heading in the right direction. The improvement of the regulator, following the report by the Commissioner for Better Regulation, Anna Cronin, is a priority and that’s why it had a big funding injection in this year’s Budget.

We have been actively engaged with the CMPA in the regulator’s Continuous Improvement Program and other reforms. Victoria has now become the first state to publish an extractive
resources strategy. I am pleased to report that the sizable backlog in regulatory approvals is falling. There are no longer any applications from quarries over the statutory deadline.

I am grateful to have the industry’s support for this reform agenda.

The projects the government has invested in will ensure a busy future for the sector and a successful future for Victoria.

About Gavin Moreira

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