Victorians are missing out on millions of dollars in economic development because the state has lost its status as an attractive investment destination for exploration and mining and is losing potential projects to other states, according to the Minerals Council of Australia’s Victorian Division.

In evidence to the Victorian Parliament’s Inquiry into Greenfields Mineral Exploration and Project Development, the Assistant Director of the MCA’s Victorian Division Ms Megan Davison said the state needed to recapture its place as a significant minerals economy.

“No one disputes that the geology of Victoria is highly prospective, however over the last 15 years the state has lost market share in minerals activity to other states and has lost its status as a top mining investment destination,” Ms Davison said.

“A large part of this is because of Victoria’s policy and regulatory environment is by no means leading practice. Many regulatory systems are ineffective and in many cases don’t lead to good environmental, social of commercial outcomes”

“The Victorian minerals industry has participated in numerous inquiries and regulatory reviews over the past 15 years and the resulting recommendations have been agreed to by the various Governments, yet most remain unimplemented. “

“We simply ask that the Government implement the recommendations of these various inquiries and reviews. Many recommendations come at no or little cost but would see an extraordinary impact on efficiency and effectiveness of government processes and encouragement of investment in minerals projects.”

Further, Ms Davison said: “The mining industry in Victoria, in collaboration with the Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) have established effective and practical processes to manage potential land use issues.”

“The MCA with the support of the VFF has recommended to Government that the dispute resolution procedures currently available in the mining laws be enhanced through reforming the Office of the Mining Warden to enable a professional, independent, transparent and effective mediation process through the Office of the Small Business Commissioner.”

The MCA is encouraged by the Parliament’s acknowledgement of the value of the Victorian minerals industry and we look forward to working together to ensure the sustainable growth of the industry.

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