Population growth to double state?s quarry demand

Victoria’s projected population growth and urban development over the next 34 years will drive demand for housing, hospitals, schools, roads, railways, offices, and other public infrastructure, the state government-commissioned study suggested.

The report, Extractive Resources in Victoria: Demand and Supply Study 2015-2050, estimated nearly 90 million tonnes of stone, sand, clay and other materials will be needed annually by 2050 – up from the 46 million tonnes needed last year.

It stated Victoria currently has 485 quarries producing $676 million worth of raw material for concrete, road base, bricks, paving and asphalt per year, fuelled by a $21 billion local building and construction industry.

The report also found that 11 billion tonnes of resources are available within current and future planned authorised areas, which is sufficient to meet demand for several years beyond 2050. However, there may be shortfalls in the types of rock and at a regional level.

Key growth areas

An estimated 34 per cent of the supply will need to be sourced from different quarries to those currently in use or indicated for use due to resource exhaustion.

The report, which was launched on 19 July, compares the location of current and potential future quarry sites with their proximity to high growth corridors and centres in the state.

It identifies 15 local government areas likely to be the most important in supplying key growth areas across Melbourne and prominent regional hubs, including Knox, Cardinia, Mitchell, Greater Geelong and South Gippsland.

The rapidly developing areas of Melbourne, Hume, Casey, Wyndham and Whittlesea are predicted to have the greatest future demand.

The report also highlights the importance of sourcing raw materials as close as possible to construction sites to cut the costs of transporting materials as well as providing and managing the infrastructure needed for large earthmoving trucks.

“With Victoria’s population expected to reach 10 million by 2051, we are doing our homework now so that we can build the future houses, schools, hospitals, roads, railways, and work places Victorians will need,” minister for resources Wade Noonan said.

“Through this study we now have a clear roadmap of how much raw materials are needed and where they are located to help build Victoria over the coming decades.”

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