The Andrews Labor Government is empowering Victorian communities to have a greater voice on local mine and quarry proposals, with the launch of a new public education program.
Not-for-profit community legal centre Environmental Justice Australia (EJA) will receive $50,000 from the Labor Government’s Community Education Grant Program to help Victorians engage in the process of approving projects.
The program will give communities a better understanding of the complex processes involved with mine and quarry proposals.
Communities will be guided through the environmental assessment process and laws. They will also have an opportunity to participate through written submissions and presentations at public hearings.
Local residents can take part in community education workshops and have access to online resources to help them engage in public consultations. The program will also help project proponents better understand and respond to community interests.
The program will be trialled over the next 12 to 18 months, focussing on three proposals across Victoria:
- the Fingerboards mineral sand mining project in East Gippsland
- the Bunyip North quarry project in West Gippsland
- the Big Hill open cut gold mine proposal in Stawell, if Stawell Gold Mines submits a modified proposal.
Victorian Minister for Resources Wade Noonan said:
“Many Victorian communities feel disengaged from the process of approving a new mine or quarry – and we want to turn this around.”
“This program will break down barriers so people can better understand what’s happening in their local areas, and take part in the consultation process.”
“I look forward to seeing Victorians engage with Environmental Justice Australia so their voices can be heard.”
The Government is helping communities stay informed about local projects by breaking down barriers to information and improving confidence in the mining and quarrying sectors.
The industry is a key driver of the Victorian economy and creates jobs in our regional communities.
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