Cement Concrete Aggregates Australia (CCAA) released a document – Providing the Materials to Build Queensland – that outlined to the new Queensland Labor Government the challenges for the state’s quarry industry, as well as recommended policy changes to address them.
“With a population heading towards eight million by 2044, an uncertain economy and an environment where extreme weather events occur regularly, we need to plan for our future,” CCAA state director Aaron Johnstone stated.
Highlighting the importance of such a plan, Johnstone pointed out that the state government’s commitment to “well targeted and efficiently delivered infrastructure” would largely be dependent on the availability of construction materials. However, he noted that the increasing pressure on quarries from encroaching development and local council approval delays could potentially affect construction material supply.
“If this [the pressure] continues, it will become more and more difficult for these quarries to operate efficiently, which will impact on the cost of delivering concrete and other construction materials for the state,” he explained. “That’s why it’s critical that we protect our quarry resources and facilitate more timely approvals.”
In addition to introducing stronger provisions for the protection of Key Resource Areas (KRAs) within the state planning policy, CCAA recommended the state government establish a “one-stop shop” to oversee its agenda for construction materials.
The peak industry body also suggested:
• The implementation of systems to prevent incompatible development near quarries, concrete plants and cement facilities.
• The appointment of the state government as the “main decision-maker” in the quarry assessment process, with local government as a “key stakeholder”.
• The upgrade of key road and transport infrastructure to improve safety and facilitate smooth product delivery to market.
• The continued reduction of red and green tape.
“Successive governments in Queensland have put in place a number of important reforms which support our industry, such as the introduction of the KRA policy in 2007, as well as more recent planning and vegetation reforms,” Johnstone said. “However, much more needs to be done, and we [CCAA] want to work closely with the new government to help drive the changes to protect and access our resources for the benefit of all Queenslanders.”
The CCAA represents more than 80 cement, concrete and aggregate suppliers that account for more than 80 per cent of the combined industries’ output across Australia. Within Queensland, CCAA has about 30 members that supply all the cement produced in the state.
The CCAA’s full document is available at www.ccaa.com.au