Victoria is growing fast. We need to secure the rock, gravel and sand required to build homes and infrastructure, to support our rapidly growing population.
Securing extractive resources, particularly in areas close to demand for construction, is a key part of delivering Helping Victoria Grow: Extractive Resources Strategy.
In 2018, two Strategic Extractive Resource Areas (SERA) pilot projects were announced. The pilot locations of South Gippsland Shire and Wyndham City were identified as critical resource locations in the Extractive Resources in Victoria: Demand and Supply Study, 2015-2050.
On 19 August 2021 the Minister for Planning decided to exercise his power under section 20(4) of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 to exempt himself from notice requirements, and to prepare, adopt and approve Amendment VC196. Amendment VC196 reforms the Victorian planning system by introducing new zone and overlay controls to provide stronger recognition and protection to existing extractive industries, and to designate land with State-significant earth resources, where extractive industries may be established in the future, as strategic extractive resource areas.
The SERA pilot project is a collaboration between:
- Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions
- Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning
- Wyndham City Council
- South Gippsland Shire Council
The SERA pilot project aims to safeguard the resources needed to build the infrastructure and homes our state needs. It has been developed in consideration of other existing land uses, environmental assets and community interests.
The SERA pilot project supports Plan Melbourne 2017-2050 (Policy 1.4.2) which states the need to:
Identify and protect extractive resources (such as stone and sand) important for Melbourne’s future needs.
The SERA pilot project will provide certainty to the community by trialing the use of planning controls to secure Victoria's extractive resources. The draft planning controls intend to ensure only appropriate development and land use occurs:
- close to quarry sites and;
- on land with strategic resources.
Between 2015 and 2050, 22 per cent of Greater Melbourne’s demand for sand will be supplied from South Gippsland. In 2050, 80 per cent of South Gippsland’s sand supply will be transported to Greater Melbourne.
The City of Wyndham is currently the largest producer of hard rock in Victoria. In 2018-2019, the municipality supplied around 5 million tonnes of rocks. This equates to around 12 per cent of the total hard rock produced in Victoria that period.
Two Strategic Extractive Resource Areas (SERAs) have been incorporated into the relevant planning schemes of Wyndham and South Gippsland via the introduction of VC196. The amendment documents can be viewed here.
The draft SERA report and planning provisions exhibited during 2020 consultation are available to view on Engage Victoria.