The Environment Protection Act 1970 (‘the Act’) states that an environmental audit assesses the nature and extent of harm, or risk of harm, to the environment posed by an industrial process or activity, waste, substance or noise. It is about understanding the type of contamination or pollution and the harm it poses.
Planning authorities, government agencies and private businesses use the environmental audit system to determine the condition of a site and its suitability for use, or to advise what’s required to make a site suitable for use.
The auditing process must clearly identify the environmental quality of a site, and any detriment to using that site.
Environmental audits must deliver authoritative, independent and transparent advice and recommend measures to reduce identified risks to the environment from a site or industrial facility.
Benefits of environmental auditing
An environmental audit of a site provides people with confidence as to what a site can be used for and to determine what, if any, costs may apply in managing it into the future.
Since the audit system commenced in 1990, more than 3000 audits have been completed, underpinning some of the most significant urban-infill and building projects across the state. As an example, the Docklands precinct was able to be transformed into the safe, vibrant place that you see today, through the undertaking of several 53X audits.
Without this system, many sites may not be developed for future use or may pose unacceptable risks to human health and the environment – projects that ultimately benefit the wider community.
Please contact us for further information.