CICCC Update—13 August 2019 Meeting

Address by Dr Cathy Wilkinson, CEO of EPA (Victoria)

At the invitation of the Committee, Cathy Wilkinson, the CEO of EPA attended the August meeting of the CICCC. Cathy was accompanied by Stephen Lansdell, the newly appointed Manager of Western Metro Region of the EPA. Cathy gave a detailed presentation to the EPA, which can be found on the CICCC web site. In summary, the presentation was titled “EPA, Victoria – 2019 and Beyond”, and covered the following items:

  • EPA is transforming – with an approach that focuses on preventing and reducing harm from pollution and waste to the environment and to human health
  • Legislative Overhaul – which specify a General Environmental Duty (GED) on all parties. The Environment Protection Amendment Act 2018 has been gazetted and will come into force in mid 2020. Regulations are currently being drafted and will go out for comment for 60 days. Environmental Reference Standards will replace SEPPs, and will be available by mid 2020.
  • Industry Guidance – EPA can contribute to the SoK (State of Knowledge) by producing guidelines which are not enforceable, but clarify EPA’s expectations.
  • Resource Recovery Facilities Audit Taskforce – addressing the problems relating to waste, and the management and fires at waste storage facilities
  • EPA Coode Island Compliance Update – note the reference to the 2017 leak of aluminium sulphate at Terminals

The new EPA approach follows the 2015-16 independent inquiry into EPA, which had 48 recommendations, all supported by EPA and the government.

Staff levels at EPA have increased significantly from four years ago to today. New offices are being established for the Western Region at Sunshine (where Steve has been appointed Manager) and the Northern Region at Preston.

The Committee Chair thanked Cathy for her thorough presentation, and the stimulating discussion that followed.

Next meeting of the CICCC

The next meeting will be held at the Terminals Site Office at McKenzie Road, Coode Island, on Tuesday 12 November 2019 at 3pm.

Robin Saunders, Chair CICCC, 21/10/2019