The Gippsland region is a major centre of activity for the Victorian minerals industry with the major coal mines of the Latrobe Valley the focal point. The Latrobe Valley is home to vast brown coal deposits (lignite) which are among the world’s largest. There are approximately 33 billion tonnes of lignite in the Latrobe Valley and much of it is economically extractable at today’s coal prices and with current mining methods. The lignite mining and power generation industry accounts for a significant proportion of the economic activity and employment in the Latrobe Valley. The industry directly and indirectly provides employment to approximately 3000 people, close to 11 per cent of the workforce, in the Latrobe Valley. More tellingly one third of the higher paid jobs in the region are in the lignite mining and related power generation industry1.


Since the Victorian gold rush of the 1850s, the minerals industry has been fundamental to the economic and social fabric of the Central Highlands region. The industry has generated substantial wealth for the area and played a major role in the region’s economic development. Today the industry continues to contribute to the regional economy through the Ballarat Gold mine and numerous smaller exploration projects. The industry has the potential to continue to contribute to the region into the future.


The Great South Coast is prospective for a range of minerals including, but not limited to, gold, mineral sands and oil shale. The development of such resources would boost the region’s economy significantly through the creation of high-skill, high-wage jobs in a high-value add sector. In addition to the economic potential of resource developments within the region, Great South Coast is positioned to benefit from the ongoing and future expansion of the mineral sands mining sector in the Loddon Mallee North and Wimmera South Region with the Port of Portland a key export centre for Victorian mineral sands.

streamlining mining approvals

I refer to the package of information as presented to Industry on 24 April 2013, and the subsequent package of information provided on 10 May 2013 (the letter). As requested, this has been disseminated to the MCA-NT Management Committee and coordinated through the industry representatives that were present at the presentation in April. The following is a synopsis of the feedback received by these representatives. The Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) represents Australia’s exploration, mining and minerals processing industry, nationally and internationally, in its contribution to sustainable development and society. MCA member companies produce more than 85 per cent of Australia’s annual mineral output.

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