The Minerals Council of Australia Victorian Division today welcomed the Andrews Government announcement that it will carry out an independent review of Victoria’s coal development programs and develop a coal strategy in 2016.

Victoria possesses around 430 billion tonnes of brown coal, with 33 billion tonnes having been identified as economically recoverable.  This represents 23 per cent of the world’s brown coal, an endowment second only to Germany’s. This resource has the potential to meet Victoria’s, and indeed Australia’s energy needs far into the future.  At current rates of production, Victoria’s recoverable brown coal resources will last 465 years.    

Victoria’s brown coal contains low levels of ash and sulphur and is readily mined at low cost.  It also fuels 86 per cent of Victoria’s grid electricity generation and 22 per cent of national electricity generation.  It provides reliable and affordable electricity for businesses and households throughout Australia. 

It is important that the people of Victoria are able to make use of this valuable endowment beyond the continued use of brown coal for energy production.

The previous government had commenced a coal allocation process, but this was not concluded prior to the November 2014 election.  It therefore is pleasing that the Andrews Government is now looking to develop a new coal policy to consider the economic, social and environmental factors of future brown coal projects in Victoria.

This important initiative will give both the industry and the people of the Latrobe Valley certainty about the future of brown coal in Victoria.   

Victoria’s brown coal royalties were $36 million in 2013-14 and are projected to deliver up to $179 million in the five years to 2018-19.  Mining royalties help fund infrastructure and services including schools, hospitals, public transport and roads across the state.  An increase in brown coal production would result in a higher rate of royalties for the state. 

The MCA and its members look forward to engagement with the government and the independent reviewer, Mr Rhys Edwards.  

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