The MCA Victorian Division congratulates the Coalition Government on the 2013-14 Budget handed down today.

The strong renewed focus on mineral development is warmly welcomed. Victoria has a proud mining history spanning 160 years and the sector can play a critical part of Victoria’s future economic growth and regional economic development.

Victoria has world class resources and the Budget acknowledges this with a $19.1 million (over the forward estimates) initiative to attract new exploration, reduce barriers to investment and promote Victoria as an investment destination. A targeted pre-competitive geoscience program, with co-funded exploration initiatives, effective and efficient regulatory and policy are crucial to attracting the investment needed to develop the State’s resources.

This coupled with the impending release of the Government’s response to the Parliamentary Inquiry into Greenfields Exploration and Mineral Development in Victoria will hopefully bolster Victoria as an attractive investment destination for mineral exploration and development.

The incorporation of Energy and Resources into the Department of State Development, Business and Innovation (DSDBI) through the recent machinery of Government changes also better aligns the settings governing the minerals industry with expertise in business development, investment and trade.

The continuation of Clean Coal Victoria ($8.3 M over the forward estimates) is also applauded – this initiative remains key to the future development of Victoria’s coal fields.

Risk management underpins mineral operations and the funding ($4.2M) for building capacity within DSDBI and undertaking technical research in understanding mine stability risks is essential. Further Regulator intervention in management’s ability to manage risk will however not be supported.

The minerals industry looks forward to working with the Government to deliver on our shared objective for a strong, safe and sustainable mining industry.

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