Looking into the Crystal Ball

By on June 12, 2008

At the Industry Briefing held on June 20, participants were presented with information on the state of the industry and the impact of the government’s current regulatory approach. Following are the key themes covered by RON KERR, CMPA Honorary CEO

THE construction materials industry has been in existence in some form or another since the Stone Age and, along with the procurement of food and housing, is one of the basic continuous activities of human beings.

Hence, resources must remain accessible and permits approved at a reasonable financial cost, and within a practical time period. Restricting entry to the industry due to excessive costs during the permit application stage presents no benefit to any part of society.

A construction material business has a significant role within the local community as an essential service. It is vital that communities and construction material businesses work together to protect their resources.

Historical McKenzie Creek Quarry

WHAT TONNAGE IS THE STATE USING?

Last year in Victoria, Work Authorities processed over 52 million tonnes of construction materials from 545 Work Authorities.

Furthermore, whilst the recycled materials and mobile crushing and screening sector does not report data, it is estimated that over 3 million tonnes of material are processed in this sector each year.

Over the last five years, 216 million tonnes of material has been supplied to the Victorian market. However, only seven new Work Authorities (of which three are hard rock operations) have commenced supplying material to the Victorian market in capacities greater than 100,000 tonnes/year during this time.

HOW IS THE UNIT RATE TRAVELLING?

Th e chart below compares unit rate against Victoria’s CPI.

WHAT ARE CONSUMABLES COSTING?

A number of key consumables were costed over the last few years – and are expected to continue to rise in the coming months. It was interesting to note that many of those present hadn’t realised how much they had changed.

HOW MUCH IS TIED UP IN REHABILITATION BONDS?

Th e state has continued to grow the amount of money under bank guarantee to cover their perceived obligations under our Act – however all reports suggest no Work Authority has failed in the last ten years.

There are still questions outstanding in relation to the rehabilitation bonds. For instance, will Government be allowed on private land; and will the Minister choose to pick up responsibility (as EIDA specially nominates ‘choose’)?

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS

Industry is concerned. This is highlighted through the following comment we received from a CMPA Member:

“It is as though we are being deliberately forced out of our livelihoods by the ever increasing number of hurdles that we have to jump, most of which have absolutely no relevance once we begin the process of serving our community. At this present rate, there will be not one family business remaining inside the next 15 years”.

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