From the Secretariat (Issue 102)

By on January 31, 2019

Challenges for 2019

Dr Elizabeth Gibson, CMPA, discusses the challenges for 2019.

CMPA congratulates Premier Daniel Andrews and the Victorian Labor party for being re-elected. Congratulations also to The Hon Jaclyn Symes MLC, the new Minister for Resources (in addition to the Minister for Agriculture and Minister for Regional Development). I look forward to meeting and working with the Minister to ensure a sustainable, efficient and effective supply of construction materials to support Victoria’s economic growth. Thank you also to the former Minister for Resources The Hon Tim Pallas MP (Treasurer) for recognition and support of the extractive industry.

There have been a number of developments resulting from the Victorian Government publication “Getting the groundwork right – Better regulation of mines and quarries” by Anna Cronin Commissioner for Better Regulation released on 20th December 2017. To support this report the Implementation Plan (released in ~April 2018), the Victorian Budget 2018/19 included $12.7 million for Earth Resources Regulation. The funding is to deliver a program
of work that will simplify regulatory procedures and provide for an upgraded online application system.

There have also been additional documents that have been released by the Resources Division DEDJTR (now Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regional Development) in 2018 that are encouraging for the extractive industry:

  • Extractive Resources Strategy;
  • Joint Ministerial Statement (Planning and Resources);
  • Statements of Operating Change; and
  • Preparation of Work Plans: Guideline for Extractive Industry Projects.

However, one of the major challenges is to instill a focus in the Resources Division on the importance of ensuring a timely and competitive supply of construction material into the market which will only be achieved through a robust number of small to medium business in the market. This is through ensuring choice of supply which would not be achieved through singular suppliers having a monopoly.

One way of monitoring the supply of construction material is through:

  • The timely release of the statistical review (still waiting for 2017/18 data); and
  • Publishing the number of tonnes approved by material type per annum on a quarterly basis.

Also, to look out for in 2019 are the:

  • Results of the construction material supply and demand survey conducted in 2018
  • Remake of MRSD Regulations (Extractive Industries) 2010;
  • Planning Practice Note;
  • Review of the Preparation of Work Plans: Guideline for Extractive Industry Projects;
  • 6 monthly reviews by the Commissioner for Better Regulation on progress within ERR.

Our industry sector is not well placed in terms of the approvals process, referral agency impacts, compliance, etc. and other areas that are impacting the industry including the:

  • Native Vegetation Removal Regulations (gazetted on 12th December 2017);
  • Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 and Aboriginal Heritage Regulations 2018;
  • Catchment Land and Protection Authorities.

It is crucial the CMPA continues to advocate as strongly and persuasively as possible for positive, balanced extractive industry regulatory change, in conjunction with much needed personnel, cultural and efficiency improvements within Earth Resources Regulation.

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