Following a four-month recruitment process, two new Mining Wardens have been appointed to investigate and resolve disputes in the Australia State of Victoria mineral exploration and mining sector.

Mr Edward de Zilwa has been appointed Chief Mining Warden and Mr Murphy Hawkins will operate as his reserve.

The two wardens have been appointed to provide adequate cover to address disputes, with a chief warden to be supported by a reserve that has the authority to act when the chief warden is unavailable.

Mr de Zilwa is a highly experienced barrister and mediator who has been a member of the Victorian Bar since 1981. Mr Hawkins is a solicitor with a business background and holds qualifications as a biological chemist and engineer.

The chief Mining Warden is a three-year appointment, with the reserve Mining Warden being appointed for a two-year term. This arrangement ensures the appointments do not expire at the same time, enabling continuity of the role into the future.

The Mining Warden is an independent statutory office holder with an important role focussed on resolving issues around minerals exploration activity, land access and the development of mining projects.

The Mining Warden investigates and attempts to resolve disputes by mediation, conciliation and arbitration. The Mining Warden can also make recommendations to the Minister for Resources.

Former Mining Warden Neill Campbell resigned in July 2019 to accept a role with the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal. Mr John Butler was appointed interim Mining Warden in August 2019. His three-month appointment ends on 20 November 2019.

Acting Head Resources John Krbaleski said Mr de Zilwa and Mr Hawkins bring a wealth of legal, administrative and technical expertise to their Mining Wardens roles.

“They are committed to providing a dispute resolution process for the sector. I also thank Mr Butler for his service as interim Mining Warden.