Victoria’s quarries may gain new leases of life post-operation after the state’s earth resources regulator unveiled a strategy to improve site rehabilitation.
The new strategy released by Earth Resources Regulation seeks to deliver site rehabilitation across the entire life cycle of a quarry project, while also improving the sector’s public standings.
The Regulatory Practice Strategy for the Rehabilitation of Earth Resources Siteswill enable quarries to develop an effective rehabilitation plan.
Planning will commence before extraction to guarantee the land will be rehabilitated after quarrying activity.
“Effective site rehabilitation underpins confidence in both the resources industry and the regulator – the commitments made upon approval of a project must be fulfilled when it is finished,” said Earth Resources Regulation’s executive director Anthony Hurst.
“We’ll ensure rehabilitation is completed to protect communities and the environment, if an operator fails to meet their obligations.”
Successful quarry rehabilitation has improved the safety and stability of decommissioned sites in the past. Niddrie’s Newport Lakes and Valley Lake, along with The Royal Botanic Gardens in Cranbourne, were all previously quarries.
“We will work with operators to help them consider the range of site rehabilitation options, engage with local communities and work progressively towards the preferred rehabilitated landform,” Hurst said.
Under the new strategy, education and enforcement of environmental rehabilitation will also be introduced by regulators.
The strategy also applies to Victorian mines and other resources sites.