The Andrews Labor Government is ensuring Victoria has the sand, stone and gravel it needs build to build our homes, roads, rail lines, schools and hospitals.
In a joint statement released today, Minister for Resources Tim Pallas and Minister for Planning Richard Wynne mapped out a better approach to securing supply for affordable housing and lower-cost infrastructure.
In the year to March, the value of Victoria’s engineering construction activity was $14.7 billion – up 48.7 per cent in the last year to the highest value on record – driven by the Labor Government’s record infrastructure pipeline.
To support this building boom, the Labor Government released the Extractive Resources Strategy Helping Victoria Grow in June this year, which sets out a new approach to secure access to critical materials.
The Joint Statement provides clear lines of authority through the planning process and identifies a ‘hot list’ of sites for priority planning consideration to address pressing supply constraints for the construction industry. The hot list is expected to halve current approval times from 18 to nine months.
The eleven quarries on the initial list are expected to supply around 160 million tonnes of materials over their lifetime. Victoria’s annual demand for materials is expected to grow from around 60 million tonnes today to more than 100 million tonnes by 2050.
To help meet the growing demand of Greater Melbourne and the western Gippsland region, the Labor Government is prioritising geoscience and land inventory work to support the protection of a strategic sand resources in South Gippsland Shire.
An ‘agent of change’ principle will be applied to existing quarries to avoid encroachment on buffer space and planning rules will be amended to provide greater flexibility for quarries to quickly respond to market conditions.
The Joint Statement strengthens local input to the lifecycle of quarries before, during and after they operate, including the rehabilitation of former quarries into lasting community assets like the Royal Botanic Gardens in Cranbourne, Newport Lakes Reserve in Newport and Valley Lake in Niddrie – which are on former quarry land.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Resources Tim Pallas
“Our building boom and the demands for construction material is driven by our record infrastructure pipeline – building the schools, hospitals and transport Victorians need.”
“We have to secure supply of our quarry materials to provide affordable housing now and for future generations.”
Quote attributable to Minister for Planning Richard Wynne
“We’re streamlining planning and protecting quarry sites needed to supply vital building materials and ensuring the land is returned as an asset to the community.”