The Andrews Labor Government will boost the powers of the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) with an immediate injection of $45.5 million over two years, protecting Victoria’s environment now and into the future.
A five year reform program to implement the recommendations of the independent inquiry into the EPA was released today, fulfilling the Labor Government’s election commitment.
The EPA has been a world leader in protecting liveability since it was established in 1971 and this announcement marks its first major overhaul in more than 45 years.
The reforms that will be put in place over the next two years include:
- $6.5 million to hold polluters to account, by funding more investigators, environmental protection officers and legal staff
- $4.8 million to pilot a new network of local government environment protection officers to address local noise, odour and dust issues that impact liveability
- $4.8 million to build an expanded, specialist environmental public health team
- $2.4 million to develop a database of legacy contamination risks
- a major overhaul of Victoria’s 46 year old legislative framework for environment protection, strengthening the independence of the environmental regulator
- better access to essential information and data for Victorian businesses and communities, including more online support services.
A new interim advisory board has been appointed to support the EPA through this significant reform process and an expression of interest for the EPA’s new Chief Environmental Scientist (CES) has also been released.
The EPA Inquiry, headed by an independent Ministerial Committee appointed last year, conducted intensive engagement with the community, industry and government to inform its findings.
To read the full report and Government’s response, visit:
Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio
“These changes will ensure the EPA maintains its status as a world-leading environmental regulator.”
“We’re building a stronger, more modern and better resourced EPA to protect Victoria’s environment now and into the future.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020