VCAT Project Update

By on October 4, 2017

VCAT Project Update

DR ELIZABETH GIBSON, General Manager of CMPA provides an update on the CMPA VCAT Project. 

An advertisement for tenders was placed in The Age on 28 June 2017 and the advertisement was circulated to Members. There were sixteen requests for the project brief (The Age – 13; via Members – 3). six proposals were received by the closing date 5 July 2017. The proposals have been reviewed with three selected for interview with R. Kerr and E. Gibson on 13 July 2017 A recommendation for approval by the Management Committee was made with Martin Oakley of Niskin Enterprises being the successful proposal for Part 1.

Objective
The project objective is to analyse VCAT Planning and  Environment Tribunal decisions made from 1 July 2009 to 30 June 2017 (eight year period) to identify landmark decisions and trends in VCAT decision making to better understand their impact on the immediate viability and longer term sustainability of the extractive industry in Victoria.

Part 1 Project Details
Target audience: Construction materials industry, government (Ministers and public servants) and community.
Specific Project Goals: The following project goals are for  applications to VCAT for the extractive industry including variations to Work Authorities and Greenfield sites under the Planning and Environment List made from 1 July 2009 to 30 June 2017:
1. Determine the number of applications to VCAT for the extractive industry per annum, if possible. If not possible, please supply the reasons.
2. Determine, where possible, the number of and reason for withdrawals from VCAT for the Extractive Industry and the number that were resolved through mediation at VCAT, if possible. If not possible, please supply the reasons.
3. Determine the number of decisions at VCAT for the extractive industry per annum (note available from www.austlii.edu.au).
4. Categorise the conditions set for each VCAT order in the quarry’s favour to determine whether more onerous conditions have been set with increasing time.
5. Categorise the reasons for each adverse (to quarry) order. Determine if further information from the quarry may have led to an approval.

6. Determine the number of proposals that have been approved at VCAT but not proceeded with.
7. Determine, where possible, the number of hearings at which Earth Resources Regulation attended; whether it was voluntary and whether their input was productive to the case.
8. Determine VCAT Members, their experience relative to the Extractive Industry and the % of decisions made in favour of the Extractive Industry.

The project commenced on the 31 July 2017 Interviews were held with quarries (CMPA Members and others) covering a variety of issues water, Native Vegetation, Aboriginal Heritage, planning system and where a decision has led to an approval that is uneconomical to proceed.

Information has been obtained (and being evaluated) from the Planning System on VCAT applications that did not proceed/ withdrawn. Martin Oakley presented his findings to date at the Management Committee meeting (23 August 2017).

A draft report has been received and is currently being reviewed. The findings from the Report will be published in the next issue of Sand & Stone.

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