Planning reform for the extractive industry

By on August 6, 2019

DR ELIZABETH GIBSON, General Manager of the CMPA provides an extract on a submission made by CMPA to Planning (DELWP).

CMPA is pleased that Planning (DELWP) is continuing to implement the strong statements made in the August 2018 Joint Ministerial Statement “Extractive Resources – Rock solid foundations for Victoria’s growth” (JMS) by the former Minister for Resources Tim Pallas MP and the Minister for Planning Richard Wynne MP:

  • Protection of the continuity of supply from existing quarries: currently where the use of a permitted quarry is continued for a period of two years the permit lapses – an amendment to the planning rules is stated in the JMS;
  • Protection of quarries from incursion of new development into quarry buffer zones;
  • Apply the ‘Agent of Change’ principle 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, including an approved area where future quarrying may occur.

However, CMPA is concerned that the implementation of planning reform by Government is taking place at a very slow pace but welcomes the proposed reforms below which will achieve one of six of the commitments of the JMS.

Proposed reforms

“Permit expiry due to failure to start the use within the specified time

Under section 68 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 (the Act), a permit for the use and development of land for extractive industry expires if:

  • the development does not start within the time specified in the permit; or
  • the use does not start within the time specified in the permit, or if no time is specified, within two years after the issue of the permit.

It is proposed to amend Clause 52.09 of the Victoria Planning Provisions (VPP) to require that a permit to use and develop land for an extractive industry must include a condition that allows for a period of not less than five years for the use and development to commence before the permit expires under section 68 of the Act.”

CMPA recommendation:

CMPA supports this recommendation to require that a permit to use and develop land for an extractive industry must include a condition that allows for a period of not less than five years for the use and development to commence before the permit expires under section 68 of the Act. The period would also be dependent on any preconditions that must be met prior to the extractive industry operations commencing.

“Permit expiry due to discontinuance of the use

Under section 68 of the Act, a permit for the use of land for extractive industry expires if the use is discontinued for a period of two years.


It is proposed to amend section 68 to enable extractive industry operations to stop for a longer period before the permit expires. Three options have been identified to implement this change:

  1. Fixed time – Increase the length of time the extractive industry use can stop for without the permit expiring (for example, from two to ten years).
  2. Permit specifies time – Enable the permit to specify a longer period. The period specified in the Act could be the existing 2 years or also be changed to a longer period. This would allow for the responsible authority to consider a longer expiry time on a case by case basis.
  3. In perpetuity – Exempt extractive industry permits from the 2-year expiry provision. This would allow the use to stop for any length of time without the permit expiring.”

CMPA recommendation:

Option 3 is the preferred option due to ongoing activities such as care, maintenance, and stockpiling of material not having been previously recognised as legitimate ongoing extractive industry operations.

“Change to the land use term and definition

It is also proposed to modify the land use term and definition of ‘stone extraction’ to clarify its operation and better align it with the term used in the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act 1990 (MRSD Act) by:

  • changing the land use term ‘stone extraction’ to ‘extractive industry’ to align with the term used in the MRSD Act (‘extractive industry’ was the land use term prior to Amendment VC77)
  • reinstating the pre-Amendment VC77 land use definition for extractive industry:

Land used for the extraction or removal of stone from land for commercial use, or to use the stone for building, construction, road or manufacturing works. It includes the treatment of stone or the manufacture of bricks, tiles, pottery, or cement products on, or adjacent to, the land from which the stone is extracted or removed.”

CMPA recommendation:

Support the modification of the land use term to extractive industry.

Support the pre-amendment VC77 land use definition for extractive industry with the provision that ancillary activities such as the recycling of building material are also included.

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