From the Secretariat

By on January 31, 2017

DR ELIZABETH GIBSON, General Manager of CMPA reflects on 2016 and the challenges that lie ahead in 2017 for Members.

Last year, 2016 was a busy one for CMPA with the release of 3 Guidelines to assist Members with their businesses:

  • Working Safely with Geotechnical risk in quarries (Launched by Minister for Energy and Resources, The Hon Lily D’Ambrosio MP)
  • Dust Management
  • Noise Management

Thank you to Earth Resources Regulation  (ERR), DEDJTR and EPA for their valued input. Also released, with a training session held, was the Service and Maintain Crushers Reference Manual. A successful AGM/Annual Dinner was held at the Pullman Albert Park where Certificates for 15 year Associate Membership of CMPA were awarded.

Meetings have been held with the new Minister for Resources, The Hon Wade Noonan, MP where the CMPA had the opportunity to highlight issues of concern to the extractive industry.

On a more serious note there has been a review of the Native Vegetation Clearing Regulations with the report released by Government in December 2016 (see page 13) which does little to reduce the cost and complexity to Members. Additionally, changes to the Aboriginal Heritage Act came into force in August 2016 with no business impact statement. An ongoing issue is that of Aerolite Quarries where a swathe of land including that on which the quarry operates was listed on the Aboriginal Heritage Register causing extreme distress to the Quarry owner and employees hampering the operation of their business.

ERR reform commenced  late 2015  and  has not  yet been completed  with  no  evidence of  improvements in the Work Authority Approval process as was originally promised and industry is required to pay for this reform.

 In 2017 CMPA will be holding 3 workshops:

  • Progressive rehabilitation of quarries;
  • Critical incident management in quarries and
  • Best practice community engagement.

Challenges for 2017  are many. The CMPA Secretariat will endeavour to ameliorate these challenges for Members such as Aboriginal Heritage; Native Vegetation Clearing Regulations; Catchment Management Authority requirements; EPA Inquiry Government response; review of rehabilitation bonds for coal mines  and  potential  impact  on  quarries;  risk-based  work plans, technical expertise in ERR; and urban encroachment to name a few.

Additionally, it is becoming apparent through increasingly stringent regulation leading to less quarries being approved that there will be a shortfall of supply of construction materials in  the  coming  decade.  This has  the  potential  to  impact economic growth in Victoria and will be especially felt by first time home buyers.

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