MCA calls for mining reforms in Victoria

10th June 2022 By: Esmarie Iannucci - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Australasia

PERTH ( – The Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) has called for a "fundamental and urgent" reform of the Victorian Mining Act and regulatory framework, and for mining to be recognised as a priority industry for regional development in Victoria.

In its new Rediscover Victoria policy priorities platform, released this week, the MCA 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 and the MCA says the state should aim to double its number of mines from six to twelve by the end of the decade, which would attract significant investment, create thousands of jobs, and establish supply chain opportunities for businesses across the state.

“Victoria stands on the cusp of a second mining rush if government seeks to make the most of that state’s rich resources,” said MCA Victoria executive director James Sorahan.

“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,” said Sorahan.

He pointed out that Victorian mines spend more than half their supplier spend in Victoria injecting over A$300-million directly into regional and Melbourne businesses.

Sorahan said that Victoria could supply the tech metals the world needed for renewable energy and modern technology from lithium to copper and rare earths to antinomy.

The MCA’s Victoria policy priorities platform identified five priority areas for the Victorian minerals industry, including 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.

It also called for a reform of Victoria’s complex and "poorly designed" exploration licensing regime to give certainty to explorers and stop wasting regulator efforts on compulsory early land relinquishments, a reform of the royalty tax regime by introducing an exploration deduction to encourage investment in resource replacement and devote gold royalties to communities in regional Victoria, and the re-introduction of a co-funded exploration grant program to match other states.

The MCA has also called for support of industry efforts to introduce regionally delivered mining entry level courses to provide pathways for locals into mining jobs.