Helping Victoria Grow: Extractive Resources Strategy

By on July 19, 2018

This article is an edited version of the Treasurer’s speech on 15 June 2018 at the Melbourne Metro Arden Station building site for the launch of Helping Victoria Grow: Extractive Resources Strategy.

Tim Pallas MP, Treasurer of Victoria and Minister for Resources

The strategy I am launching today is Helping Victoria Grow – a title that really sums up what we are talking about.

Growth in Victoria

Victoria is the fastest growing state in the nation.

With Victoria’s population set to double by 2050, demand for the sand, stone and gravel that builds our homes and public infrastructure will also double.

To support our growth, the Victorian Government has invested in the strongest infrastructure pipeline in Victoria’s history – building the hospitals, schools, roads and railways our state needs.

Government investment in infrastructure projects – like the Metro Tunnel – is forecast to average $10.1 billion per annum over the next four years. Around that infrastructure, Victoria needs to build an extra 2.2 million homes by 2050.

Arden Station

There is no better place than here at the site for Arden Station to release our new Extractive Resources Strategy and to appreciate the transformation underway to build the modern Melbourne.

Arden Station is a key site for our largest infrastructure project in the building phase, the Metro Tunnel.

The Metro project will utilise 480,000 cubic metres of ready-mix concrete and 160,000 tonnes of other quarry materials.

Budget investment

All of this material needs to come from somewhere.

That is why the 2018-19 State Budget allocated over $15 million to ensuring access to affordable raw materials across the state.

Planning and transport

As Treasurer of the state, I watch the bottom line closely.

When it comes to quarry materials, an eye must always be on how we reduce transport costs.

More than 30% of every infrastructure dollar goes to the materials that are required, including the sand, stone and gravel.

A focus of the Extractive Resources Strategy we are launching today is to locate quarries as close as possible to where the material is needed.

Left to Right: CMPA Management Committee Members in attendance – Ant Bateup (Mansfield Crushing), Tim Bird (All Stone Quarries), Tim Pallas MP, Garry Cranny (Dandy Premix Quarries and CMPA Chairperson), Andrew Burdett (Burdett Sands), Basil Natoli (BCA Consulting).

Left to Right: CMPA Management Committee Members in attendance – Ant Bateup (Mansfield Crushing), Tim Bird (All Stone Quarries), Tim Pallas MP, Garry Cranny (Dandy Premix Quarries and CMPA Chairperson), Andrew Burdett (Burdett Sands), Basil Natoli (BCA Consulting).

Improved planning will assist both current quarries to keep operating and new sites to develop alongside growing suburbs and communities.

That’s why I announced a pilot project in February with the Wyndham City and South Gippsland Shire councils to ensure ongoing access to the rock, gravel, sand and other resources.

It is vital that our potential quarry sites do not end up under the bricks and mortar of new developments.

I thank my colleague Minister Wynne for his commitment to the improvement of planning for strategic extractive resource locations.

The government is looking across the board to ensure it provides the necessary support for the quarry sector by streamlining approval processes and improving links between different regulators.

Recycling and rehabilitation

Our new Extractive Resources Strategy also aligns with other work underway across government, such as the VicRoads approach to increase the use of recycled materials in road construction, another potential channel for saving dollars.

It will look at innovative ways to return former quarries to communities as lasting assets for enjoyment, exemplified by the Royal Botanic Gardens in Cranbourne and Valley Lake in Niddrie.

Conclusion

I acknowledge there is work to do but this strategy for Victoria – the first of its type in the nation – and the funding allocated in the recent budget are important moves in the right direction.

In many respects the problems we face with raw materials are good problems to have.

Our investment in infrastructure is creating jobs – but also demand for materials.

We won’t put our head in the sand – doing nothing is not an option.

This is a government that will do the big builds our state needs, while supporting the industry that provides the vital building materials beneath our feet.

About Gavin Moreira

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