Regulator Raises Bar To Lay Foundations For Growth

Earth Resources Regulation is supporting Victoria’s resources sector by implementing reforms to reduce end-to-end approval timeframes and costs, while maintaining public and environmental safeguards.

An efficient regulatory system is critical to delivering the supply of rock, gravel and sand for Victoria’s Big Build and affordable housing and supports ongoing investment in minerals exploration and mining projects.

Under the Better Approvals for Regulators (BAR) program, program improvements will focus on streamlining processes, clarifying the roles of quarry site regulators and strengthening the regulator’s risk mitigation approach to approvals.

Earth Resources Regulation is working with Better Regulation Victoria to deliver clearer geotechnical standards and approval thresholds, allowing potential issues to be identified earlier in the process.

These improvements will build on previous initiatives delivered in response to the Commissioner for Better Regulation report Getting the Groundwork Right.

Industry was briefed by Earth Resources Regulation last week on implementing the BAR program and prospective applicants were invited to give feedback on the proposed reforms.

These changes support clearer guidance to industry, reducing the risk of application errors and delays.

The regulator will be onboarding staff over the upcoming months following a recent recruitment campaign, which is expected to boost capability and capacity to meet the demands of the growing resources sector.

In the six years prior to 2021, production of building raw materials grew by twenty-five per cent and quarry production exceeded sixty-four million tonnes of sand, rock and gravel in 2020-21. Since 2018, around one third of new work has been approved under the faster and efficient administrative update pathway.

Quotes attributable to Earth Resources Regulation Executive Director Anthony Hurst:

“Earth Resources Regulation is supporting industry to respond to the high demand for sand, stone and gravel to build public infrastructure and housing, while maintaining important protections for the community and environment.”

“We are committed to boosting our team’s capability and capacity following a successful recruitment campaign.”

“We’ve had record state-wide quarry production in recent years and approved 15 new quarries this financial year. We are now taking the next step to enable the continuing supply of quarry resources.”

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