The Victorian government has launched a new online map for identifying the location of mining and exploration leases.
The Mining Licences Near Me web tool gives a comprehensive visual representation showing the locations of all leases, and provides details about the exploration licence holders including contact details, work authorities, grant dates, and the type of product to be extracted.
The website is aimed at community members and landholders, to better inform themselves about industrial developments in nearby areas, and to determine what kinds of exploration permits cover their land, such as coal seam gas exploration.
Victorian Energy and Resources minister Russell Northe said the easy-to-use website would ensure greater transparency for communities regarding industry activity in their region, whether onshore or offshore, and including mineral, gas and quarrying operations.
“The Coalition Government is working hard to ensure communities can more easily access the information they need about mining and exploration activities and to ensure the industry engages in a meaningful way with local communities,” Northe said.
“Victorians have a right to know where, when and what mining activities are being undertaken in their region, and this new Government tool enables them to swiftly access this information.
“It is important our mining industry has the support and trust of the community to ensure its future success,” he said.
The minister said Victoria's mining industry contributes around $6.43 billion to Victoria's economic output each year and employs more than 7,700 workers across the state.
Speaking to the ABC last week Northe said he was unable to commit to the moratorium against coal seam gas drilling beyond July 2015.
“The tool that we're introducing today really doesn't change anything in that space. It is really providing more transparent information with respect to exploration and mining licences in Victoria,” he said.
Anti-CSG lobbyist Marg Thomas said the resource was a welcome move, but that it only showed approved exploration licences, and did not show pending licence applications.
The new website was developed according to Recommendation 10 from the Economic Development and Investment Committee inquiry into Greenfields Mineral Exploration and Project Development in Victoria, which called for greater transparency of applications for exploration licences.
Mining Licences Near Me accompanies the existing GeoVic website, which offers more detailed information for industry and government stakeholders.