From the Secretariat (Issue 103)

By on March 19, 2019

Government communications

DR ELIZABETH GIBSON, General Manager of the CMPA provides an update from the regulators.

There has been much happening in the Government space that is applicable to the extractive industry.

Some of which that has occurred is reported on in this issue of Sand & Stone:

  • Release of the Planning Practice Note 89: Extractive industry and resources February 2018 (Planning – Department Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) and CMPA’s submission;
  • CMPA submission to Separation Distances and Buffers consultation (Planning – DELWP);
  • Release of Earth Resources Regulation (ERR) 2017-18 Statistical Report (Department Jobs, Precincts and Regions (DJPR)

Some of which that has occurred was reported on in Sand & Stone (Issue 102) but have since progressed:

  • Guideline for Extractive industry Projects Workshops (ERR – DJPR)

    The Workshops were held in February 2019 in Melbourne and Ballarat and attended by concerned Voting and Associate Members of CMPA.

    The Guideline is approximately 100 pages long and provides clear guidance on the risk-based work plan process. However, it is a one size fits all, for example, the risk matrix used for the extractive industry applies to large complex projects such as coal mines and not to the much lower risk extractive industry.

    Admission was also made by staff in the Division of Resources that small to medium sized quarries are disadvantaged in comparison with large quarries in terms of costs for work plan applications/work plan variation applications.

  • Draft Silica, Crystalline (Respirable Dust) Workplace Exposure Standard (WES) consultation (Safe Work Australia)

    The Draft WES was released in February 2019 and proposes an 80% decrease in the WES: from 0.1 mg/m3 to 0.02 mg/m3 Time-Weighted Average (average exposure over a specified period, usually a nominal eight hours) for respirable crystalline silica (RCS) dust. Concern surrounding RCS has been raised in part due to the Queensland Government issuing an urgent warning last year to the engineered stone benchtop industry after 22 silicosis claims were lodged to WorkCover in three weeks, including six people who were diagnosed as terminal. One sufferer is 27 years old. CMPA will engage experts in preparing a response to Safe Work Australia. CMPA is also holding a Dust Workshop 23rd May 2019 in Tullamarine that will include health monitoring, air monitoring, analysis and controls.

Some has yet to occur and will be reported in the next Sand & Stone (Issue 104):

  • Review by Anna Cronin Commissioner for Better Regulation of “Getting the Groundwork Right”

    The Hon. Jaclyn Symes MP Minister for Resources has tasked the Commissioner with conducting a review into progress with the “Getting the Groundwork Right” recommendations. CMPA Members will be contacted for their feedback.

  • Release of draft Environmental Guidelines for the Ready-mixed Concrete Industry in Victoria Environment Protection Authority (EPA) Publication 628.2 (2019).

    A Workshop was held on 28th February in Sunshine (many thanks to William Adams for hosting) on the above EPA draft guideline. CMPA Members present gave very informative feedback which was taken aboard by EPA representatives. CMPA will also be making a written submission.

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