Earth Resources Regulation has given in-principle approval for the expansion of two quarries, including one at Oaklands Junction, north of Melbourne.

Holcim Australia has proposed an expansion of a storage area at its Oaklands Junction quarry, while the other quarry is at Jindivick, east of Melbourne, where JH Cuthbertson has requested an expansion of its extraction pit.

Both sites are on the Extractive Industry Priority List, which aims to help the expansion of quarries that are important to the growth of Victoria by providing priority consideration of their planning permit applications.

Earth Resources Regulation has identified both quarries as important to Victoria’s ongoing growth, enabling their proposals to progress to the planning permit and public consultation stage.

The regulation body has endorsed both proposals after assessing the adequacy of the geotechnical, environmental and public safeguards, pending local council planning permission.

The companies must now apply to their respective local governments, Hume City Council and Baw Baw Shire, for planning permission before the work plan variations can be approved by the regulator.

Continued supply of quarry materials is required to support the construction of new infrastructure and housing.

Planning and regulatory approvals enable materials to be provided at the right time for building projects, helping safeguard local materials.

Earth Resources Regulation executive director Anthony Hurst said community concerns and environmental factors would be considered as quarries plan for growth.

Mr Hurst said the proposed work plans could play an important role in supplying the raw materials needed to ensure affordability of new construction in Victoria

“Earth Resources Regulation is continuing to assess a high number of applications to lift production at quarries around Melbourne and across regional Victoria,” he said.

“A final decision will be made on these proposals once the local council planning application and public consultation process is complete.”

Communities will have an opportunity to have their say on the proposals as part of council’s planning permit application process.