Quarry Boom Making Construction Cheaper

03 June 2024

The Allan Labor Government is boosting the supply of raw materials for construction – making sure we can deliver the new housing, infrastructure and renewable energy projects Victoria needs.

Since it was established last year, the Resources Victoria Approvals Coordination (RVAC) unit has increased approvals for new quarries close to areas of demand.

For every one tonne of quarry material currently being produced, four new tonnes have now been approved for development to meet future demand and reduce prices.

Victoria’s quarry sector delivered record annual production of 73.6 million tonnes of rock, sand and gravel in 2022/23 – quarry production has soared by more than 14 per cent over the past three years.

More than 300 million tonnes of new quarry resources are on-track to be approved for industry to develop, which is around four times more than the expected demand this year.

The Earth Resources Regulator is approving more material for development year-on-year so quarries can expand to meet demand as infrastructure is built and upgraded. So far this financial year, 26 Work Plan applications, variations and updates have been approved so sites can grow compared to 18 the previous year.

RVAC helped Holcim Warrnambool gain approval to extend the life of their quarry and bring more material to market sooner, ensuring the supply of materials to build wind farms throughout Victoria’s south-west. Every wind turbine base requires over 1,250 tonnes of quarry material for construction.

It is a similar growth story for Boral Montrose and Fulton Hogan Tynong, on the outskirts of Melbourne, which can now deliver the raw materials needed for local Level Crossing Removal projects on the Lilydale-Belgrave and Pakenham-Cranbourne lines, thanks to approval of their expansion.

The Montrose quarry is also a key supplier for the new Boral Batching Plant at Bulleen, which will produce the equivalent of 260 Olympic-sized swimming pools full of concrete for North-East Link.

RVAC’s purpose is to reduce approval times by case-managing resource development applications - their specialist support is helping a new sand quarry in Melbourne’s southeast navigate planning approvals.

The Lang Lang Sands site is on track to be the first large sand quarry to open within 100km of Melbourne in more than 20 years. Sand is a vital ingredient for concrete and boosting its availability will reduce the likelihood of supply shortages in years to come.

Quote attributable to Minister for Energy and Resources Lily D’Ambrosio

“Improvements to regulatory processes and approvals are helping deliver more rock, sand and gravel while ensuring the right safeguards are in place to protect the environment and communities.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Transport Infrastructure Danny Pearson

"Our investments in improving quarrying regulation in Victoria is delivering big benefits for our Big Build."

Reviewed 03 June 2024

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