The Andrews Labor Government is ensuring quarries around the state are ready to supply raw materials for the new railways, roads, houses, hospitals and schools being built across the state.
Minister for Resources Tim Pallas today launched a pilot project in South Gippsland that will help protect communities and ensure ongoing access to the rock, gravel, sand and other resources needed to build the infrastructure of today and tomorrow.
Through the project, the Government will partner with South Gippsland Shire and Wyndham City councils to undertake geoscientific investigations, to identify high quality extractive resources.
An inventory of natural, cultural, community and other land uses – including rail and road transport routes – will also be compiled.
The information gathered over the next 12 to 18 months will be assessed to determine the best way to secure extractive resources and quarry operations, while maximising liveability with local neighbourhoods.
Because rock, gravel and sand weigh tonnes, it’s critical these extracted raw materials come from places near transport routes to building sites, to keep the construction costs down.
A landmark report published last year projected that Victoria’s population growth and urban development will nearly double the demand for rock, gravel and sand by 2050 above recent levels of production.
The pilot project will help ensure quarries can supply these raw materials well into the future, unimpeded by conflicts with urban encroachment.
South Gippsland Shire in regional Victoria is ranked the most critical quarry resource location in the state. It is expected to supply 22 per cent of Victoria’s sand and gravel and 34 per cent of its hard rock to 2050. Eighty per cent of South Gippsland’s quarry supply goes to areas of high demand in Greater Melbourne.
The City of Wyndham, is currently the largest producer of hard rock in Victoria – with more than 4 million tonnes worth $50 million extracted last financial year – and is responsible for 11 per cent of all hard rock in Victoria.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Resources Tim Pallas
“Our record investment in infrastructure is creating jobs, opportunity and demand for raw materials. We need a ready supply of resources extracted from quarries now and for the future as Victoria grows.”
“We want to secure quarry resources of strategic importance from urban encroachment and keep transport and building costs down, while ensuring harmony with existing and future land uses.”
“The best way to achieve this is to partner with local governments to identify crucial natural resources, examine the planning provisions and get the balance right between the resources industry and local liveability.”