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The quarry industry provides raw materials for construction (i.e. rock, sand, soil and clay).

The industry is deeply concerned that the rate of consumption of these materials is rapidly outstripping supply and future availability. Current data confirms there are insufficient new, or extended quarry reserves being made available for extraction.

Disruption to the construction industry supply chain is inevitable, unless the issue is promptly addressed by Government.

We need construction materials to build new housing, roads, hospitals, schools, to upgrade rail networks and for other key infrastructure projects. This is well recognised by all stakeholders.” Dr Elizabeth Gibson, General Manager CMPA

It is essential to our Members and the wider industry that we continue to manage and protect our key quarry resource areas to ensure a steady flow of unhindered residential and infrastructure work across Victoria.” John Kilgour CEO of Civil Construction Federation Victoria.”

In 2016, the net rate of population growth in Victoria reached ~140,000 per annum; 40% more than previously forecast. This unprecedented growth demands a requisite investment in major public infrastructure, which highlights the critical need to review the current quarry approval process.

Melbourne is experiencing demand pressures which will soon begin to impact upon supply reliability, price and the cost to build. It will also result in the early closure of some quarries, further exacerbating the supply problem.

The CMPA decided to review the existing quarry approval process. The objective was to identify responsible ways of restoring Victoria’s construction material reserves to a more sustainable level as quickly as possible.

The first such independent investigation is titled: “Review of Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) Decisions for the Extractive Industry” (see

The review of Extractive Industry VCAT decisions has found:

  • Over the last four years, of the nine (9) quarry development cases heard only four (4), or 44% were approved;
  • Of the four approved only two (2) proceeded to production (less than 25%) due to onerous (non-viable) approval conditions.

(In the interim four years, 150 million tonne of raw materials have been consumed from the approved reserves.);

  • A perception that VCAT has become the Government’s approval agency;
  • Practical limits must be placed upon the proof demanded by Objectors where amenity buffer distances to sensitive receptors in the vicinity of a quarry are equal to, or exceed minimum (Regulatory or SEPP) requirements.
  • Compliance to industry best practice and codes must be recognised and accepted.
  • Tribunal outcomes should be consistent with other, like-type quarry approvals.
  • Issues raised by Objectors must be substantiated.

Investigations to support these findings have been contained to matters specific to the VCAT appeals process review only.

In conclusion, the CMPA believes Government must move now, to preserve Victoria’s finite construction material reserves. Government also needs to urgently set in place mechanisms to protect and facilitate strategic resource applications as they navigate the complex planning process.

These measures would not only alleviate our current forecast supply shortages, but also greatly benefit future generations. The availability of supply and choice of construction materials, within affordable proximity of their use are fundamental needs of a rapidly expanding Melbourne and to our regional communities.

This can and should be the reality for Melbourne and throughout a resource rich Victoria.

The CMPA is committed to working with the Minister for Resources to address these issues.

For further information please Contact:

Dr Elizabeth Gibson, General Manager CMPA

Mob: 0434 692 618