Extractive industries regulations

The Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) (Extractive Industries) Regulations 2019 (PDF - 452.5 KB) commence on 26 January 2020. These will replace the 2010 regulations, which sunset on this date.

The commencing regulations have been modernised and streamlined, and set clearer work plan and rehabilitation plan requirements to better manage the risks associated with quarrying. The regulations have been shaped by public input provided through the Regulatory Impact Statement process. Improvements have been made in four key areas:

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From 26 January 2020, improvements to the risk management component of work plans will apply.

What are the changes?

The regulations set out the information to be included in work plans, including for risk management. As part of the ongoing regulatory improvements, there are new requirements for the identification, assessment and management of risks.

The risk management plan templates in Extractive Industry Work Plan Guideline will be updated to reflect the changed requirements in the new regulations.

These changes are being implemented under the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) (Extractive Industries) Regulations 2019.

What do I have to do differently?

The changes relating to the risk management component of work plans include:

  • Clarifying that the risk management plan must include performance standards;
  • Adding requirements relating to sensitive receptors. This includes an explanation of how a hazard may harm or damage a sensitive receptor including evidence to support the assessment; and
  • Adding a requirement to outline roles and responsibilities of personnel accountable for the implementation, management and review of the risk management plan. This replaces the previous requirement to specify arrangements for reporting on performance against all the specified objectives, standards and acceptance criteria.

When do the changes take place?

The changes apply to new work plans or work plan variations lodged on or after 26 Jan 2020.

Download the Extractive Industry Work Plan Guideline fact sheet (PDF - 1.8 MB)

New rehabilitation requirements take effect on 1 July 2021. They aim to give the community more certainty regarding the future of quarry sites and include enhanced requirements for final rehabilitation

What’s changing?

The Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) (Extractive Industries) Regulations 2019 (PDF - 452.5 KB) establish a clear, consistent minimum standard for the approval of rehabilitation plans and their future assessment against criteria. This will support authority holders to adequately plan, undertake and achieve rehabilitation that is safe, stable and sustainable.

The new regulations will be supported by supplementary guidelines. Additional information will provide industry with compliance certainty and the basis for regulatory approval or rejection of rehabilitation plans. The guideline will be developed in consultation with industry.

Who will the changes impact?

The changes will apply to new work plans or work plan variations for extractive works lodged on or after 1 July 2021.

The current rehabilitation plan requirements will continue to apply until 1 July 2021.

An 18-month transition period is being provided before the new rehabilitation plan requirements commence.

If you currently have a work plan and don’t seek to vary it, the current rehabilitation requirements will continue to apply.

What will I have to do differently?

The amendments require rehabilitation plans to include:

  • a post-quarry land use and include a rehabilitation plan that achieves a safe, stable and sustainable final land form, to support that future use. A new definition of safe, stable and sustainable is included in the regulations;
  • rehabilitation objectives for each unique rehabilitation domain within the quarry site, which will collectively measure whether a safe, stable and sustainable landform has been achieved;
  • criteria i.e. standards that will be used to measure whether rehabilitation is complete;
  • rehabilitation events or steps. The Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act 1990 requires rehabilitation to occur “in the course of doing work” to reduce rehabilitation liabilities during the operation of the quarry. These rehabilitation events or steps support this requirement by making it measurable and enforceable; and
  • a risk assessment to identify and plan for the long-term management of risks associated with any rehabilitated land form that is not self-sustaining.

Download the Rehabilitation plan requirements - Extractive industries regulations 2019 fact sheet (PDF - 1.1 MB)

From 26 January 2020, changes to the infringements for extractive industries apply. These changes are aimed at building public confidence and supporting operators who do the right thing.

What are the changes?

New infringement offences have been created and compliance officers from Earth Resources Regulation are now able to issue infringement notices for some offences which previously required full criminal prosecutions.

Existing infringement offences have also been changed. These changes include extensions to cover persons as well as corporations, and changes to penalty units.

All extractive industry infringement offences that will apply from 26 January 2020 are shown below. For a current list of fees and penalties please visit djpr.vic.gov.au.

Extractive industry infringements offences

Infringement offence Section
of the Act
Searching for stone without consent – on Crown land 8AA(a)
Searching for stone without consent – on private land 8AA(b)
Extractive industry without a work authority 8AB(1)
Extractive industry outside of the work authority or approved work plan 8AB(2)
Operating without an appointed quarry manager 77Q
Failure to provide a further rehabilitation bond 80(4A)
Failure to stop work until a further rehabilitation bond is provided 80(6)
Failure to appoint a quarry manager during rehabilitation 81(3)(b)
Failure to comply with terms or conditions on return of a thing 95J(3)
Failure to allow access to a worksite to a person providing assistance to an inspector 95O(2)
Failure to comply with any lawful request from, or to mislead an inspector 95R(2)(a)
Failure to comply with a notice 110(3)
Failure to provide information relating to work undertaken 116A(1)
Infringement offenceRegulation
Failure to meet report requirements for a reportable event 20(3)
Failure to provide a written report of the reportable event 20(4)
Failure to keep records of work undertaken to verify reports 23
Failure to keep the work authority, conditions and approved work plan onsite for use of the quarry manager 24
Failure to submit a royalty return in the correct form with the required information, within 31 days of end of financial year 26(1)
Failure to keep records of sales and extractions for six years, to verify royalties payable 27(1)

Who do the changes impact?

The changes will impact anyone undertaking extractive industry activities in Victoria who fails to comply with the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act 1990 or the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) (Extractive Industries) Regulations 2019.

Download the Infringements - Extractive industries regulations 2019 fact sheet (PDF - 859.0 KB)

Annual reporting requirements for reporting dates in the financial year commencing 1 July 2020 and subsequent years are changing for extractive industry work authority holders.

What are the changes?

For annual reports relating to the financial year commencing 1 July 2020 (and subsequent years), there are minor changes to annual reporting requirements, including the following:

  • Reporting requirements are set out in the regulations, not the schedules to the regulations.
  • Reporting must be completed within 31 days after the end of each financial year.
    • If an extractive industry work authority ceases to be in effect, reporting must be completed within 31 days.
    • In some circumstances an extension may be granted.
  • Annual reports must include resource estimates of the amount of stone resource available for extraction as well as production data.
  • Annual reports must include the density of the stone before extraction, the stratigraphic unit of the stone and the maximum depth of extraction of the stone.
  • A statutory declaration will no longer be required.

Who do the changes impact?

All extractive industry work authority holders.

What do I have to do differently?

Annual reports relating to the financial year commencing 1 July 2019 are not impacted by these changes and the previous requirements continue to apply.

For annual reports relating to the financial year commencing 1 July 2020, updated templates for reporting will be available on the Resource Rights Allocation and Management system (RRAM) and our website.

Financial year

Report due*

Reporting requirements

2019-2020

July 2020

Current

2020-2021

July 2021

New

*some exceptions apply

Download the Reporting requirements - Extractive industries regulations 2019 fact sheet (PDF - 856.6 KB)

Earth Resources would like to acknowledge and thank stakeholders who have taken the time to provide feedback.

Page last updated: 30 Jul 2020