The reopening of Stawell Gold Mine and activity by a number of explorers in the region is proof that mining is back and can diversify regional economies with more jobs, investment and support for the community.
In fact, gold production in Victoria is almost double what it was less than five years ago and significantly higher than it has been for decades.
Despite this, there are some commentators and groups that downplay the mining industry as the "old economy".
Even worse, we have a state government that has decided to slug the gold sector with a new tax just as the industry starts to get back on its feet after several tough years.
It is important for us to remember the value of mining - not just because of the past, but also because it is part of Victoria's future.
Mining exports more than every other industry combined in Australia. Mining's production volumes are up and most mining jobs are based in regional areas.
Just last week, the ABS jobs statistics showed a large jump in Victorian mining industry employment in 2018-19. There are now almost 16,000 direct jobs in mining in Victoria.
In Stawell, the reopened mine employs almost 200 people and mining wants to be here for the long haul providing jobs, support for local businesses and bringing investment dollars to the region.
The mine hosts an Underground Physics Laboratory a kilometre underground with universities to conduct world leading experiments in search of dark matter. It will be the only lab of its kind in the southern hemisphere, bringing world renowned scientists to the region.
Explorers like Navarre employ skilled geologists in Stawell using the latest technology to search for the new gold deposits.
Stawell mine and the exploration activity around town give Victorian geologists, engineers and tradies a chance at a job in regional Victoria.
Stawell Gold Mine's purchasing of equipment in Victoria like steel tanks, civil works, crane hire and local catering gives workers in manufacturing, restaurants, tradies and numerous other regional workers a chance at a job.
When you add the engineering, technology and services jobs dependent on mining, more than 88,000 Victorian jobs relate to mining. Without a mining industry, we wouldn't have these jobs.
If government can't look past how much they can snaffle in extra tax from gold mining regions like Stawell to spend back in Melbourne, regional Victoria is in trouble.
Treasurer Tim Pallas claims that mining should pay a higher gold royalty in Victoria because Western Australia has one.
This ignores the fact that WA is the biggest gold province in Australia, most of its mines are larger than Victoria's, the mines are in more remote areas and the regulatory system is more efficient.
It is simply not fair to impose a big new tax to start in only six months' time with no warning and no consultation. It is particularly unfair since mines like Stawell have just reopened.
This is just another example of bad policy foisted on regional areas. The Treasurer came out to reopen Stawell mine before the election last year, but after the election he disappeared to Melbourne and slugged Stawell with a new tax.
Victoria's mining industry does not oppose contributing a royalty, but it needs to be designed in a way that does not unfairly hit mines. And the industry says every cent from the royalty must go back to the regions including Stawell - not into the Treasurer's pockets. The tax will come from the regions, so it should stay in the regions.
A growing mining sector makes a positive impact on the Victorian economy with the jobs it creates, the fees, charges and taxes it generates and the goods it buys from local small business and the community grants.
Importantly, mining jobs are just the sort of jobs we need in our regional communities. They are mostly full time, high paying and skilled.
Along with agriculture and tourism, mining is one of a number of valuable industries in regional Victoria. The more industries around, the more resilient regional economies will be.
We should be concerned about the future of mining and other regional industries in Victoria if state governments risk future jobs with cheap cash grabs.
A fair go for regional industries is not a big ask. It's time state governments started to listen.
James Sorahan is executive director of the Minerals Council of Australia Victorian division.