Coronavirus (COVID-19) information

Update: safely reopening regional Victoria

The coronavirus (COVID-19) roadmap for reopening provides steps on easing restrictions, dependent on how many active coronavirus (COVID-19) cases are in the community and public health advice.

From 11:59pm on 18 October 2020, changes are being made to restrictions in both metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria. Read the Statement from the Premier and visit coronavirus.vic.gov.au for details.

This page contains updates to how the regulation of the resources sector has changed and how Earth Resources Regulation is operating.

For the latest health and travel information to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), visit the Department of Health and Human Services.

Details about the permitted work scheme including eligibility and the worker permit form are on the Business Victoria website.

For specific business-related information, please visit the Business Victoria website.

COVIDSafe Plans

From 11:59pm on 13 September 2020, it is mandatory for every Victorian business to have a COVIDSafe Plan.

Random spot checks to ensure compliance in metropolitan Melbourne are underway and will commence in regional Victoria from 28 September 2020.

There are six COVIDSafe principles for businesses to ensure reopening is safe, steady and sustainable.

For more information and for templates and guidance go to Business Victoria.

Business Support

The Victorian Government is investing more than $3 billion to help businesses impacted by ongoing restrictions and prepare for COVID Normal business.

$3 billion in cash grants, tax relief and cashflow support will be delivered to Victorian businesses that have been most affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions.

Visit Business Victoria for more details.

For quarries and mines, Earth Resources Regulation will defer the collection of rent and annual fees.  More details below.

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In response to changes in the media landscape, Earth Resources Regulation has made changes to help communities have a continued say in local minerals development through the release of a new engagement guideline.

Earth Resources Regulation media release 4 May 2020

Earth Resources Regulation has put temporary measures in place to help quarry and mine operators who need to adjust their operations to continue supply of critical resources while restrictions are in place to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Earth Resources Regulation will work with operators to prioritise and expedite approvals needed to enable you to address impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19) and respond to market demand.

Earth Resources Regulation will defer the collection of rent and annual fees. It will also now fast-track the approval process for works to supply critical material for infrastructure projects at a time when businesses are facing additional pressure.

Minister for Resources media release 22 May 2020

Earth Resources Regulation has made some temporary changes to ensure we safely carry out compliance activities while coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions are in place across Victoria.

Many of our field activities in regional Victoria are recommencing, including routine inspections and site activities. Our staff will contact site operators in advance of any visits and comply with COVIDSafe Plan requirements.

Below is a summary of changes Earth Resources Regulation has made to operations in metropolitan Melbourne. For enquiries about the new working arrangements please contact  ERRfeedback@ecodev.vic.gov.au

For more information about current restrictions and employer obligations, please visit the Business Victoria website.

Changes to compliance activities – metropolitan Melbourne

Earth Resources Regulation will now only visit sites in response to critical incidents or where there is a significant risk to public safety, the environment, land or infrastructure. We will continue to attend meetings, investigate complaints and follow up on non-compliance remotely.

Onsite initial site meetings are suspended – metropolitan Melbourne

Earth Resources Regulation has suspended on-site initial site meetings for proposed work plans and variations while restrictions are in place in metropolitan Melbourne.

Please contact us to discuss whether a virtual initial site meeting may be appropriate, including use of video footage and/or photographs of the site.

Please be aware this may limit the advice that agencies can provide (i.e. native vegetation requirements) and you may need an additional site meeting once restrictions ease.

Please email workplan.approvals@ecodev.vic.gov.au and a member of the Assessments team will contact you to discuss your situation.

Victoria’s resources sector has stepped up to help keep the state running. Minister for Resources Jaclyn Symes has acknowledged the importance of the resources sector.

Minister for Resources media release 27 April 2020


Fossicking and Recreational Prospecting

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Yes, if you live in regional Victoria, you can fossick in regional Victoria.

If you live in regional Victoria, you cannot travel to metropolitan Melbourne for recreational activities such as fossicking.

You can undertake fossicking with the people you live with, or in a group of up to ten people (including yourself).

You must keep 1.5 metre distance from others and minimise the sharing of equipment. You must clean and disinfect shared equipment between uses.

You can only fossick in areas where it is legal to do so and must carry a valid Miner’s Right. Visit our Recreational Prospecting page for more information.

No. Metropolitan Melbourne moved to the First Step of the roadmap for recovery from 11:59pm on 13 September 2020.

Outdoor recreational activities like fossicking are not a permitted reason to leave home under the First Step.

For the latest health and travel information to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), visit the Department of Health and Human Services website.

Page last updated: 19 Oct 2020