Earth Resources Regulation Reform

By on August 16, 2016

DR ELIZABETH GIBSON, General Manager of the CMPA reports on the Earth Resources Regulation Reform.

The reform process within Earth Resources Regulation (ERR) is still underway. Positions have been advertised for the new structure of Earth Resources Regulation with the process expected to be completed within two months. The new structure will be circulated once finalised. The ERRIRG was informed that the Earth Resources Regulation reform was on track, however, with there being many vacancies coupled with a change in buildings (ERR is now at 1 Spring Street, Melbourne) questions were raised as to how complete the reform process actually is. The new structure is as shown:

ERR Structure Flow Chart


Public Reporting update:
Relevant sites (top 50 high risk sites – quarries and mines) have been identified for public reporting but ERR were using a risk tool which has been developed by a consultant and encompasses the
quantitative risk assessment framework process in accordance with AS/NZS ISO 31000:2009 Risk Management – Principles and Guidelines. Perceived risks will be deemed real risks by ERR unless proved otherwise by the quarry operator.

The proposal which is being put to the Minister for review includes comments from all stakeholders and not just industry. Note, not all sites will be required to undertake public reporting.

Risk based Work Plans:
Advice has been received that DEDJTR, after consultation with DELWP, considers a new or amended planning permit would not be required in circumstances where the change relates solely to the format of the risk based work plan. A planning permit might be required if the transition to a risk based work plan necessitates a material change in the configuration or operation of the site in order to mitigate risk. Reference was also made to DEDJTR developing guidance materials for Councils with DELWP which is expected to take about six months. It is intended there will be one transfer of a work plan to a risk based work plan/month/region.

The first five have already been contacted (coal mines, gold mine and a quarry). The Extractive Industry Guidelines for risk based Work Plans will receive a final edit and given to the industry associations to review by 30 June 2016. Note, this document was not received from ERR until 27 June 2016.

Further updates will be given into the reform process progress of ERR will be given in the next issue of Sand & Stone.


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