The Minerals Council of Australia (Victoria) has called for fundamental and urgent reforms to Victoria’s Mining Act and regulatory framework in a new Rediscover Victoria policy priorities platform released ahead of the November state election.
The organisation wants a commitment to regional economic diversification and for mining to be recognised as a priority industry for regional development in Victoria.
MCA Victoria executive director James Sorahan said the policy priorities set out critical policies to remove impediments to minerals exploration, remove artificial challenges to turning resource discoveries into new mines, and improve environmental and community regulation without reducing standards.
“The priorities focus on making Victoria competitive with other jurisdictions competing for exploration and mining investment,” he said.
“Victoria stands on the cusp of a second mining rush if government seeks to make the most of that state’s rich resources.
“Victoria’s regulatory regime is no longer fit for purpose with a growing mining industry that needs to supply the world with critical minerals for modern technology.
“Victoria’s clumsy exploration licence regime, long permitting timeframes, restrictive bonds regime and high tax regime lag other states and urgently need to be modernised to ensure Victoria can convert its resources into mines and regional jobs.
“A strong minerals sector is good for Victoria, particularly regional Victorian jobs and local business suppliers.”
Sorahan said Victorian mines used more than half their supplier spend in Victoria, injecting over $300 million directly into regional and Melbourne businesses.
He said Victoria could supply the tech metals the world needs for renewable energy and modern technology from lithium to copper and rare earths to antinomy.
Victoria’s minerals industry five priorities are:
- Strategic minerals project support to help mining projects navigate the maze of multiple and duplicative regulatory agencies and see projects through all the stages of assessment and approval
- Reform Victoria’s complex and poorly designed exploration licensing regime to give certainty to explorers and stop wasting regulator efforts on compulsory early land relinquishments
- Reform the royalty tax regime by introducing an exploration deduction to encourage investment in resource replacement and devote gold royalties to communities in regional Victoria
- Re-introduce a co-funded exploration grant program to match other states
- Support industry efforts to introduce regionally delivered mining entry level courses to provide pathways for locals into mining jobs.