Engaging the community

Three people chatting and looking out over a field

Comprehensive early engagement

The department has been engaging with community leaders and stakeholders in the Stavely Project Area since 2015. The aim has been to learn about the region's experiences with minerals exploration and to help farmers, other stakeholders and community members, better understand the region's geology, minerals exploration, and how such these activities are regulated.

With the latest announcement in March 2022 of new ground being available for minerals exploration licence applications in the area, information sessions will be held to help locals understand the process underway. More details of these sessions will be promoted in the coming weeks.

2018 Stavely Ground Release engagement

Traditional Owners of the region, including leaders of the Barengi Gadjin, Gunditi Mirring and Eastern Maar peoples, have been consulted and informed through the various phases of the initiative.  Exploration companies are expected to collaborate with Traditional Owners throughout the Native Title process, implement a well-designed landholder and community engagement program, and actively safeguard the environment.

Throughout 2018, community sessions were held to help locals find out more about the Stavely Ground Release. These were held in Mortlake, Dunkeld, Willaura, Cavendish, Laharum, Balmoral, Ararat, Nhill, and Horsham. Meetings with small and local community groups and landholders continued throughout the licence application process.

Following the licensing of blocks, ‘Meet the Explorer’ sessions were also held.

Block 11 - P&G Forwood Pty Ltd, and Block 10 - WIM Resources Limited - community information sessions (in person / not recorded) were held in June 2018 at Balmoral and Cavendish and at Wonwondah, Laharum, and Brimpaen in November 2019.

Westrock Minerals Pty Ltd was granted the third licence for Block 1 in April 2020. Online information sessions (not recorded) were held in June 2020, for communities near Glenthompson, Caramut, Chatsworth, Minjah, and west of Mortlake.

Stavely Block 1 community information session resources:

Gippsland Prospecting Pty Ltd was granted the fourth licence for Block 4 in October 2020. Online information sessions were held in November 2020, for communities south of Ararat and Stawell, including Halls Gap, Moyston, Pomonal, and Willaura.

Stavely Block 4 community information session resources:

Stavely Minerals was granted the fifth licence for Block 3 on 30 August 2021. Online information sessions were held on 6-7 October 2021, for Mafeking, Wickliffe, Willaura, and Lake Bolac communities.

Stavely Block 3 community information session resources:

Through these sessions, landholders were informed about their rights during minerals exploration, environmental safeguards, and new tools to assist in negotiating land access consent and compensation agreements with minerals exploration companies.

Land use planning to understand factors important to communities

The engagement also included resource and land use planning research. This exercise sought to engage with local industry and stakeholders to help inform identification of ground suitable to release and tender for minerals exploration.

This process helped to build understanding of the land uses, land planning, environmental, water and heritage features within the region. This work clarified what is important to local communities, and what to consider in relation to how minerals exploration (given the way it is regulated) might affect these features.

The studies and consultation with regional leaders concluded that the sensitive areas identified were generally well safeguarded from any potential adverse effects from minerals exploration by existing legislation and land planning processes and controls.

Land access consent tool

Support for landholders were piloted as part of the Stavely Minerals Exploration Initiative. This includes public information sessions for landholders about minerals exploration, the land access process, negotiating land access and compensation agreements with explorers.

Workshops were also held for local farm management, financial and legal practitioners to equip them with the right information and boost capabilities around land access.

The Commercial Consent Agreement for Access to Private Land in Victoria can be used by anyone and tailored to individual circumstances.

The complete kit includes a simple, voluntary land access consent and compensation agreement template with supporting guidance material, to help landholders negotiate land access with explorers.

Page last updated: 01 Dec 2022