Joint Ministerial Statement

By on October 3, 2018

ELIZABETH GIBSON, General Manager of the CMPA provides a report on the Joint Ministerial Statement.

The Joint Ministerial Statement Extractive Resources Rock Solid Foundations for Victoria’s growth (between the Minister for Resources The Hon Tim Pallas MP and Minister for Planning The Hon Richard Wynne MP) was released on the 16th August 2018. The purpose of the Joint Ministerial Statement is to deliver a better approach for land use planning and regulation that will secure the quarries needed to meet Victoria’s growing needs. Below is an extract of some of the key actions.

To assist quarries to keep operating and new sites to develop alongside growing suburbs and communities the Ministers commit to:

1. Streamline approval processes to expand production

A new Extractive Industry Project Hot List has been developed to identify quarries that will be given priority planning consideration. The criteria for determining whether a site is considered a strategic site for the Hot List includes:

  • the site contains significant accessible resources and is well located to markets
  • the application needs timely consideration and coordination of separate approval processes
  • issues do not justify an Environmental Effects Statement (EES) process
  • consideration of the application by the Minister under another Act would be facilitated by referral of the application to the Minister.

2. Protect the continuity of supply from existing quarries

Amendment to the planning rules will provide greater flexibility on commencement of quarry activity or periods of inactivity of greater than two years (including under care and maintenance). This will enable quarrying sites to respond to market conditions to quickly increase or decrease production.

3. Apply the ‘agent of change‘ principle to quarries

Greater scrutiny is needed to prevent the incursion of new development into quarry buffer zones, which result in pressure for premature closure of a quarry. The ‘agent of change’ principle will be applied to existing quarries. This principle puts the onus on the applicant proposing a new use or development that encroaches within buffers of an existing quarry to take measures to mitigate any impacts from those existing or planned activities. This includes an approved area where future quarrying activity may occur. The principle will protect the existing use rights, while also ensuring complementary land uses for adjacent sites.

4. Provide better guidance to industry and local government

A Planning Practice Note will be published by 31st December 2018 to clarify the respective roles and responsibilities of Earth Resources Regulation and local government, as the responsible authority for administering the planning scheme. This will provide guidance to local governments about Earth Resources Regulation’s responsibilities under the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act 1990 and how these relate to decisions under the planning system, including the adoption of standard conditions for planning permits.

5. Identify and protect extractive resources of strategic importance

Victoria’s strategic earth resources will be better identified to inform land use planning and enable planning conditions to be used to secure existing and future strategic earth resources.

6. Reduce the environmental impact of quarrying and deliver landscapes for the community

Government will work with industry to reduce the environmental impact of quarrying by:

  • Supporting industry operators to be recognised as leaders in the sustainable development of extractive resources.
  • Reducing demand on virgin extractive resources by facilitating substitution with recycled products to increase competition and lower prices for extractive resources customers.
  • Reducing emissions from the extractive resource sector to help achieve zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The Joint Ministerial Statement can be found at: http://earthresources.vic.gov.au/earth-resources/policy-andlegislation/extractive-resources-joint-ministerial-statement

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