2016-17 Victorian Pre Budget submission and policy

The Minerals Council of Australia calls on the Government of Victoria to develop a strategic vision for the Victorian minerals industry.

The industry contributed approximately two per cent ($6 billion) to gross state product in 2012-13. This figure is significant, especially when one considers the importance of the sector to regional communities and local economies.

Today, the minerals industry remains a substantial driver of prosperity for the state; it also maintains the livelihoods of those who choose to live in regional Victoria. In 2015, the minerals industry directly employed 11,200 people across the state.

Victoria, like Australia, has an innovative, responsible and accountable minerals industry. It is an industry that has been in continuous operation for the past 160 years contributing immensely to the state’s prosperity over that time. It is an industry that continues to evolve and implement new practices to improve its environmental performance. And an industry that takes its commitment to sustainable development very seriously. It is an industry that maintains its social licence to operate by working with the people in the communities in which it operates.

The minerals industry in Victoria has an opportunity to grow and the MCA Victorian Division is calling for a strategic vision for the industry, including a sustained exploration strategy, developed in consultation with the sector. A Victorian minerals industry strategy will provide an avenue to reverse the decline in investment and once again make the state a destination of choice for minerals development.

With the appropriate policy settings in place, the government has the opportunity to show to the world that Victoria is open for minerals investment. To do so, the government should reaffirm that the minerals industry is valuable and valued in the state and explain to the people of Victoria how exploration and mining can continue to coexist with other activities, such as agriculture, as has been the case for many, many decades.

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