Mining licences made public

DISCOVERING if there is a mining licence over a property has become easier with the state government launching Australia’s first web tool specifically designed to help locate mining and exploration activities quickly and easily.

Energy and Resources Minister Russell Northe said the easy-to-use Mining Licences Near Me web tool would ensure greater transparency for communities regarding industry activity in their region, both onshore and offshore, including minerals, gas and quarries.

“Victorians have a right to know where, when and what mining activities are being undertaken in their region, and this new government tool enables them to swiftly access this information.

“Victoria’s mining industry contributes $6.43 billion to Victoria’s economic output each year and employs more than 7700 workers across the state. It is important our mining industry has the support and trust of the community to ensure its future success.

Mining Licences Near Me shows petroleum and mineral tenements at both the application and approved stages. It also provides key information including the owner of the tenement, the commodity being explored or produced and the grant dates for the license or permit.

The tool responds to recommendation 10 from the Economic Development and Investment Committee inquiry into greenfields mineral exploration and project development in Victoria which called for greater transparency of applications for exploration licences.

The tool has an easy to use Google Maps interface and users can enter an address or location in the search box or just click on the map to search for activity.

It complements the existing GeoVic website, which offers more detailed information for industry and government stakeholders.

The Mining Licences Near Me tool is available on the Victorian government Energy and Resources website at energyandresources.vic.gov.au

Independent candidate for Gippsland South Phil Piper welcomed the government making it easier to find out if there is a mining licence over property.

“Remember that coal bed methane is coal seam gas. If there is no licence over your property but you can see on the screen a blue line and the letters EL followed by 4 numbers in black surrounded by white, then you have a mining licence near you.

“Don’t be deceived by what the government tells you, a current exploration licence is a licence for a mining company to explore on your property for what ever is on the licence. In South Gippsland nearly all licences are for brown coal, black coal and or coal bed methane.

Mr Piper said if a mining company approaches you to explore on your property you have the right to lock your gate and tell them no,” he said.

“Be careful, don’t talk to them as they can hold you to a verbal contract.

“Legally they can force you to allow them on to your land, but they would have to take you to VCAT .”