Local government will be part of a pilot program with the EPA to more effectively respond to local liveability and amenity issues. As part of the Victorian Government’s response to the Environment Protection Authority Inquiry, $4.8 million has been committed for a pilot program of local government environment protection officers.
Of the 48 recommendations made by the Inquiry, the government’s response supports 40 in full, seven in principle and one in part.

To kick-start a five year reform program that will provide Victorians with a bigger, better equipped, and more effective EPA, the government has committed $45.5 million in 2016/17 and 2017/18 for initiatives including:
• $6.5 million to better hold polluters to account;
• $4.8 million to expand the environmental public health capability in the EPA to better identify, manage and communicate environmental health risks in Victoria;
• $4.8 million to pilot a program of local government environment protection officers to respond more effectively to local issues affecting liveability and amenity;
• $3.3 million for improved digital information management to support better regulation;
• $2.1 million to appoint a Chief Environmental Scientist and boost EPA’s intelligence-gathering on new and emerging risks; and
• $1.5 million to strengthen EPA’s strategic role in land use planning.

Engagement with the local government sector to shape the pilot program will take place between February and July. Councils can sign up to be notified of progress and engagement opportunities online at engage.vic.gov.au/reform-epa