From the Secretariat (Issue 114)

By on April 19, 2021

Challenges for 2021

DR ELIZABETH GIBSON, General Manager of the CMPA.

There is a lot to be said for the current construction material market in Victoria with its wide range of products, quarry sizes and geographical distribution leading to choice, variety, quality and a competitive market, however, this may soon be a thing of the past.

Work Plan approvals process: It appears that large operators are having preferential treatment than small operators when it comes to approvals such as administrative updates. For example, a 2–3-hectare expansion within a work authority with no change in truck movements an administrative update is denied, and a planning permit amendment is required. The approvals system (MRSD Act and PE Act) is lacking in proportionality and whilst difficult for all, especially penalises the small/medium quarries.

Rehabilitation plans: From 1 July 2021 more red tape comes into force (MRSD (Extractive Industry) Regulations 2019) yet there is no evidence of need for the extractive industry. The new format rehabilitation plan will be required for all greenfield site applications and work plan variations applications submitted on or after 1 July 2021. The prompt for this being the Hazelwood coal mine fire and the inability of Government to recognize the lower and different risk profile of the extractive industry in comparison to mines.

Environment Protection Act 2017: From 1 July 2021 this Act introduces the General Environmental Duty that applies to all and not just the employer. CMPA has held a number of training sessions for Members on this and will continue to update Members.

MRSD Act reform: There is opportunity here to have some real reforms that may improve the approvals process; however, any changes need to be evidenced based. A separate Construction Materials Act is, unfortunately, somewhere off in the far distant future.

Supply and Demand study: A new study will commence in 2021 and will also include recycled construction material.

COVID-19 pandemic: COVID-19 expected to be with us in years to come. The construction material industry has done a fantastic job in keeping it at bay in the workplace, however, your COVID-19 safe plans will need to be continued into the future.

Finally, I would like to wish you all a happy and safe New Year.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Sponsored Ads