The Victorian Government has provided $35.7 million in funding for the state’s resources sector to ramp up exploration approvals and attract further investment to the state, as part of its 2021/22 Budget.
The state government funding includes $10.6 million to Earth Resources Regulation, Victoria’s regulatory body for the resources industry.
According to the regulator, the funding will ensure mineral exploration applications are delivered timely and efficiently, with $2.4 million of the funding allocated to legislative and regulatory improvements.
Geological Survey of Victoria, the state’s geoscience agency, received $13.4 million in funding to attract new investment and demand for minerals.
Minister for Resources Jaclyn Symes said the resources sector is vital to the state’s economic recovery.
“We’re making sure that efficient and responsible regulation of the sector goes hand in hand with the development of future sites – including the local community in decision making and leaving a positive legacy,” she said.
Minerals Council Australia executive director James Sorahan welcomed the support for the states resources sector.
“Mining and exploration is a growing industry in Victoria contributing to regional development and employing thousands of Victorians, while taking a responsible and responsive approach to community consultation and sustainability,” he said.
“Victoria’s rich minerals endowment is prospective for gold, base metals and mineral sands. Exploration investment in Victoria was worth $152 million in 2020 – a significant increase over the past five years.”
The Victorian government the state’s resources sector is growing rapidly and provides direct employment to 7000 workers.
“More government investment is required as the industry grows to deliver more efficient approvals, increase investment certainty and boost community confidence,” Sorahan said.
“With the potential to create more jobs and sustain community growth while helping to make the products Victorians use every day, the development of Victoria’s minerals industry should be a high priority for regional development.”