Compliance and enforcement

Earth Resources Regulation staff on site

We regulate nearly 1,600 sites including almost 900 quarries; over 300 mines and prospecting licences; and over 50 petroleum licences.

We promote and enforce compliance with the state’s mineral and energy resources legislation at these sites.

Our compliance and enforcement policy sets out how we ensure compliance with the Acts:

  • extension activities, including communication of information, promotion and capacity building
  • monitoring and auditing of practices and processes
  • enforcement activities designed to compel compliance.
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We apply a risk-based approach to regulation, which guides where we focus our compliance activities.

During 2018–20 we will focus on:

  • community issues including dust, noise and vibrations
  • fires in coal mines, plant and equipment fires, and other fires at mines, quarries and petroleum sites
  • stability: mine and quarry walls, unexpected land deformation, integrity of tailings dams, erosion
  • rehabilitation: land that has not yet been rehabilitated for future use, public safety, environment, and bonds
  • water: poor quality discharge, erosion, water removal, seepage from tailings dams, run off from stormwater, quarries in floodplains
  • activities without permission: unauthorised extraction, and associated impacts
  • administrative compliance: meeting conditions, financial requirements, data submission, rent, royalties, returns
  • security: inadequate fencing and signage, public safety.

The Earth Resources Regulation Compliance Strategy 2018-2020 outlines how we will encourage, monitor and enforce regulatory compliance of Victorian earth resources.

We will ensure that earth resources operations are run in a safe and compliant way.

We will monitor compliance through:

  • advice and information for operators
  • community engagement
  • assessment
  • audits
  • inspections
  • investigations
  • enforcement.

One of our core functions is to inspect and audit sites, based on an inspection and audit schedule. We decide the frequency of inspections using a risk-based approach assessment.

Download the Earth Resources Regulation Compliance Strategy 2018-2020:

An information sheet outlining how we regulate mines, quarries and petroleum sites in Victoria is available below.

For each industry sector, we will focus on:

  • coal: fire, dust, batter stability, rehabilitation
  • gold and other metals - dust, stability, rehabilitation, water
  • rock (hard and soft rock): blasting, dust, stability, extraction without permission
  • sand/clay quarries: dust, water quality, stability of tailings storage, rehabilitation, batter stability, water removal
  • gypsum: vegetation, rehabilitation
  • minerals sands: dust, water, rehabilitation
  • petroleum: well integrity.

We have agreements in place with other government agencies to:

  • assist decision-making
  • help the industry sectors get a better understanding of their obligations
  • and ensure that our decisions are transparent and consistent.

After an approval has been granted, an operator must keep us up-to-date with information on its activities. This includes:

  • completing reports on time
  • contacting us if issues arise or if guidance is needed
  • managing risks
  • paying attention to conditions.

We conduct inspections to make sure that operators are meeting the conditions on their approvals.

We will conduct proactive activities to encourage compliance including industry seminars and forums; guidance materials; and community engagement activities.

We also publish case studies and materials on ‘how it should be done’ to assist compliance.

We use a range of methods to address non-compliance, from requiring the remedy of identified risks or breaches, through to financial penalties and prosecutions.

We will take enforcement action proportionate to the seriousness of the non-compliance.

Page last updated: 16 Apr 2020