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Strengthening Victoria‘s Dangerous Goods Laws

08 October 2022

Victoria’s dangerous goods laws will be updated to be clearer and improve compliance, better aligning them with the state’s occupational health and safety legislation.

Minister for Workplace Safety Ingrid Stitt today released the Andrews Labor Government’s response to the Independent Review of the Dangerous Goods Act 1985.

The Independent Review was conducted by Andrew Palmer KC who was tasked with reviewing the Dangerous Goods Act 1985 and associated regulations following two catastrophic fires in 2018 and 2019, caused by the illegal stockpiling of chemical waste.

The fires caused significant environmental contamination and resulted in clean up costs of more than $100 million.

The review makes 49 recommendations in total – the Government supports 22 of these in full, 15 in principle, will undertake further consideration of 11 recommendations and has noted one.

The Government supports-in-full the report’s overarching recommendation to reform the Dangerous Goods Act 1985 to align with the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004. This will ensure Victoria has modern and fit for purpose dangerous goods legislation.

The review and recommendations will deliver safer outcomes for Victorian workers, the community and the environment – making sure goods that pose an immediate hazard to persons or property, such as substances that are corrosive, flammable, combustible or explosive, are managed in a controlled and safe manner.

Ensuring legislation is strengthened to protect Victorian workers and the environment is a key priority for the Government – and consultation with stakeholders will commence shortly to ensure that all reforms are fit for purpose and meet the needs of the community.

The Government’s response and the Review can be found on the Engage Victoria websiteExternal Link .

Quotes attributable to Minister for Workplace Safety Ingrid Stitt

“This work is vital to ensure the safety of all Victorians. We will continue to work with stakeholders and experts to develop a modern and fit for purpose Act, making sure there is no room for operators to do the wrong thing.”

“We know that unsafe storing, handling or disposal of hazardous chemicals poses a real threat to local communities, and we’re working to strengthen laws to stamp out the mismanagement of dangerous goods.”

“I thank Andrew Palmer KC and this team for their dedication and hard work in ensuring Victoria has a robust and fit for purpose dangerous goods regulatory framework that best serves the community.”

Reviewed 07 October 2022

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