VICTORIAN MINING STILL MIRED IN RED TAPE

A new report by KPMG for the Minerals Council of Australia – Victorian Division shows that despite regular commitments to reduce the regulatory burden on the mining industry in Victoria, the level of red tape in the state has been steadily increasing.

Successive Victorian Governments since 2004 have launched independent inquiries, commissioned reports, and undertaken extensive consultations to reduce the unnecessary regulatory burden on the minerals industry.

But unfortunately, the KPMG report shows the regulatory burden is being increased despite commitments to improve and streamline red tape.

KPMG found that between 2004 and 2011:

  • The Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act 1990 has been amended 27 times with the volume of pages increasing by 49 percent from 192 to 286.
  • The Environmental Effects Act 1987 has been amended four times, with the volume of pages increasing by 70 percent from 10 to 17.
  • The Planning and Environment Act 1987 has been amended 22 times with the volume of pages increasing 67 percent from 261 to 436.
  • The Crown Land (Reserves) Act 1978 has been amended 29 times, with the volume of pages increasing by 74 percent from 87 to 152.

KPMG also reviewed seven Victorian Government inquiries, reports and papers since 2005 that identified 126 recommendations intended to improve minerals sector regulation.

They found that 24 per cent of the recommendations had been implemented, a further 12 per cent were partially implemented, 10 per cent were in progress and 45 per cent had been ignored.

The minerals industry in Victoria is not seeking lower standards of performance by minerals companies or reduced environmental or social outcomes. We do, however, need competent, well resourced regulators.

We hope the Victorian Government will take the KPMG report as an indication that reform of the regulatory system is difficult and that they will need a firm hand to reduce red tape – one of their stated goals.

The MCA is calling on the Government to recognise the numerous unfulfilled recommendations of previous reviews, most of which are not contentious, and recommend they be implemented, rather than identifying another set of recommendations that will be shelved by the bureaucracy.

The KPMG report is available at http://www.minerals.org.au

Download complete article