The Victorian Government is currently in the process of passing the Environment Protection Bill 2017 through its Parliament. The Bill has the purpose of providing for the continuation of the Environment Protection Authority in Victoria and to modernise specific objectives and structure of the body. In essence, the Bill gives effect to commitments announced by the Government following the Independent Inquiry into the Environment Protection Authority.
The independent inquiry launched by the Government during the previous last election came in recognition of the fact that the Environment Protection Authority has not been comprehensively reviewed since its inception in 1971. As the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio, provides:
As a result, the Andrews Labor Government has committed to changes to the EPA [Environment Protection Act] that would see it meet the challenges of modernity as well as future challenges that it may encounter. Ms D’Ambrosio said “Those challenges are well documented in the inquiry report, and arise from the pressure being placed on Victoria's land, water, air and other natural capital from such factors as an increasing population, a growing and diversifying economy, rapid technological change and intensive urban development.”
Primarily, the Bill will:
The Bill is considered a crucial step in creating the modern frameworks for an EPA that would meet the challenges of the future. According to Ms D’Ambrosio, it ensures the EPA ‘remains a world-leading environmental regulator into the future, focussed on protecting both Victorians and Victoria's environment from the harmful effects of pollution and waste.”
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Environment Protection Bill 2017, Bill and Explanatory materials as published on TimeBase LawOne
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