MCA Victorian Division Pre-budget Submission 2015-16

The earth resources sector in Victoria provides economic benefits for the state through its contribution to exports, direct and indirect employment and to the broader supply chain industries (such as manufacturing and the professional services sectors). Whilst in recent years activity in the sector has declined, the industry nonetheless remains important to the Victorian economy, especially regional Victoria.

Victoria has much wealth potential in gold, copper, base metals, mineral sands, brown coal and also onshore natural gas.  The MCA Victorian Division urges the new Victorian government to get its legislative and policy settings right to turn the state into an attractive resources investment destination.

The MCA Victorian Division strongly advocates for;

  • An efficient and transparent regulatory environment
  • A consolidated strategy on exploration as part of a broader industry vision for the earth resources industry
  • Continued support for brown coal innovation projects and the development of a comprehensive plan for the future of the Latrobe Valley.

To achieve this, the MCA Victorian Division urges the government to;

  • Engage in a consultative, sensible and scientifically informed process in the matters of the reopened Hazelwood mine fire inquiry and the parliamentary inquiry on unconventional gas exploration and extraction.
  • Recommitment to the TARGET co-funded drilling initiative.
  • Continue its investment in brown coal low-emmissions technology innovation.
  • Commence consultation with industry to;
  • Restart the stalled reforms of the Environment Effects Act 1978 and review of the environmental impact assessment process
  • Progress the review of the environmental review committees
  • Assess ways in which to identify and address gaps in knowledge of Victoria’s geology
  • Develop an approvals bilateral agreement under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 with the Commonwealth Government
  • Engage on ways to develop plans for essential industry infrastructure.
  • Continue to progress the remaining recommendations of the bipartisan inquiry into greenfields mineral Exploration and Project Development in Victoria (EDIC).
  • Increase efforts to reduce regulatory overlap, policy induced cost pressures and red tape.
  • Progress the development of a water entitlement regime which includes net volume water licencing.
  • Recommit to the development and adoption of the Model Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) Act and support the implementation of a national uniform WHS regime.
  • Announce a coal tender and engage with industry on the associated infrastructure needs.
  • Repeal section 5 of the Nuclear Activities (Prohibitions) Act 1983 which prohibits exploration for uranium or thorium in Victoria.
  • Ensure WorkCover premiums, payroll and land taxes remain low.

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