From the Secretariat (Issue 98)

By on May 22, 2018

Budget 2018/19 – What does it mean for the Extractive Industry?

ELIZABETH GIBSON, General Manager of CMPA.

The Government through the Treasurer/Minister for Resources has recognised the importance of the extractive industry to the infrastructure projects announced in the Victorian Budget 2018/19 where construction materials can account for 35% of the costs. The budget includes $12.7 million for the Earth Resources Regulator (ERR) with the intent to ensure access to the rock, gravel, sand and other resources required to build the projects.

As we all know there are major issues with the approval processes with the CMPA Secretariat receiving numerous phone calls from Members regarding this with some approvals appearing to be unjustifiably refused. It is interesting to note that the officers involved can increase the application costs by up to $11,000 for our Members through the requirement of a re-application fee (that is if a decision is made by the Member to continue with the approval process). The officers involved may also require amendments to the proposed Work Plan that require tens or even hundreds of thousands of additional dollars to be spent of private/family capital.

It would be interesting to note whether these officers have the same authority for expenditure of DEDJTR funds that are tracked through the rigorous financial tracking systems that the Government has. Conversely, there is no monitoring or tracking of costs imposed on industry by the officers in question. Maybe there should be!

The additional funding is for simplification of regulatory procedures and provision for an upgraded online application system. It will also identify the best areas for raw materials, with a new geotechnical engineer, risk specialist, and community engagement officers to work with local communities and local governments. The CMPA Secretariat will work with ERR to ensure that this funding is directed to areas of critical need as outlined in the budget.

See further information on the budget and what it means for the demand of construction materials in Victorian Budget 2018/19. Also of interest will be the implementation plan that has been approved by Government for the ERR – Continuous Improvement Program.

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