Strategic Extractive Resource Areas

Safeguarding Victoria’s resources for future growth

A house being constructed.

The quarry sector is playing a key role in the state’s post-COVID economic recovery effort. Demand for extractive resources in Victoria is expected to be more than double the levels of 2015 by 2050.

We need to plan ahead now, to ensure that quarry materials can be sourced close to where they will be used, to keep transportation and construction costs down. That’s why the Victorian Government has developed Strategic Extractive Resource Areas (SERAs).

SERAs use planning controls to secure quarry materials and provide certainty to the Victorian community.

SERAs will help communities better understand where quarries might be in the future, taking into account neighbouring developments, environmental values and community values.

Securing quarry materials, particularly in areas close to demand for construction, is a key part of delivering Helping Victoria Grow: Extractive Resources Strategy.

For more information on SERAs, download the fact sheets below:

SERAs in Wyndham and South Gippsland

In 2021 the Minister for Planning approved the first SERAs in the Wyndham and South Gippsland Local Government Areas, which have been identified as important sources of hard rock and sand respectively.

For more information on SERAs in Wyndham and South Gippsland including maps, download the information sheets below:

SERAs roll-out

The Minister for Resources released the Strategic Extractive Resources Roadmap in 2021, which seeks to progressively introduce SERAs in suitable locations around the state.

Potential new SERAs will be investigated across different LGAs where important extractive resources are located close to large population centres where these materials are increasingly needed.

Investigations will include engagement with local Councils, Traditional Owners, government agencies, and other groups.  Landowners and the general public will also be consulted as part of the process.

Frequently asked questions

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SERAs indicate the locations of existing quarries and potential future quarries in areas close to where they are needed for construction and infrastructure projects. SERAs aim to identify and safeguard land with the highest potential to supply material to build Victoria’s future, taking into account the surrounding natural, cultural, and existing land uses, and supporting transport networks.

SERAs are also used to provide buffers to existing quarries so they can continue to operate, by ensuring sensitive or incompatible land uses are not built too close to an operating quarry.

SERAs apply a suite of existing planning controls in areas where access to potentially valuable quarry materials such as sand, stone and gravel may be at risk because of new sensitive or incompatible land uses. SERAs serve as strategic land markers in the planning system, indicating locations where extractive resources may exist and ensuring they are considered in land use decision making.

The planning controls that SERAs provide include:

  • utilising the Special Use Zone (SUZ) for existing quarries
  • applying a State Resource Overlay (SRO1) to areas that have been identified as potential new or expanded quarries in the future
  • applying a State Resource Overlay (SRO2) around existing quarries as a buffer.

A SERA is not an approval for a quarry. All proposals for new and expanded quarries in Victoria, including in SERAs, must be assessed under the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act 1990 and the relevant Council’s Planning Scheme, as well as a range of environmental, water and cultural heritage legislation and regulations.

The demand for rock, sand and gravel in Victoria is growing and in 2050 is expected to be more than double the demand in 2015. SERAs will help ensure there is a long-term supply of quarry materials available to meet this growing demand so that current and future generations can affordably build homes and infrastructure.

SERAs better identify potential quarry sites so they are more clearly considered in the assessment of local development and buffer zones. This has the potential to reduce local friction resulting from residents living near to quarries.

SERAs provide greater certainty to industry, land use planners and the community to better inform future land uses well in advance, by defining the locations of strategic state resources in the planning system while considering other existing land uses, environmental assets and community interests.

SERAs are a key planning initiative from Helping Victoria Grow: Extractive Resources Strategy to identify and secure strategic extractive resources.

Wyndham and South Gippsland were chosen because they both have a significant resource of critical importance to the state’s growth, and to keep construction costs down we need to ensure that rock, gravel and sand come from places close to where the material will be used.

Wyndham is one of Victoria’s fastest-growing areas, and is recognised for its significant hard rock reserves, producing about 12 per cent of all hard rock in Victoria.

The north-western area of South Gippsland is critical for the supply of sand to the fast-growing south-eastern metropolitan regions, particularly in Casey and Cardinia. South Gippsland provides 13 per cent of all sand and gravel produced in Victoria.

Without the protection that the SERAs provide, these strategic resources are at risk of being made inaccessible by sensitive or incompatible land uses, driving up construction costs.

No. SERAs focus on ensuring the Victorian planning system clearly identifies where state-significant quarries are located now, and where they might be located in the future to minimise potential land use conflicts.

While the changes apply new zone and overlay controls to manage quarries in three local government areas, permission has not been granted for any new quarry to be developed.

All proposals for new quarries in Victoria, including in SERAs, must be assessed under the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act 1990 and the relevant Council’s Planning Scheme, as well as a range of environmental, water and cultural heritage legislation and regulations.

In some cases a new or expanded quarry will be referred to an Environment Effects Statement (EES) process, which will assess the impact of the proposal.

Page last updated: 30 Nov 2023