State environment protection policies (SEPPs) are subordinate legislation made under the provisions of the Environment Protection Act 1970 (the Act). They provide more detailed requirements and guidance for the application of the Act to Victoria.

Subordinate legislation is law made by a body that has been delegated the power to create law by an Act of Parliament. It is used to implement the policies outlined in the primary legislation (or Act) and its powers cannot exceed those provided in the primary Act. 

SEPPs aim to safeguard the environmental values and human activities (beneficial uses) that need protection from the effects of pollution and waste, such as: 

  • human health and wellbeing 
  • ecosystem protection 
  • visibility 
  • useful life and aesthetic appearance of buildings, structures, property and materials 
  • aesthetic enjoyment and 
  • local amenity. 

SEPPs express in law the community’s expectations, needs and priorities for using and protecting the environment. They establish the uses and values of the environment that the community wants to protect, define the environmental quality objectives and describe the attainment and management programs that will ensure the necessary environmental quality is maintained and improved. 

Under the Act, the requirements in environmental Regulations, works approvals, licences and other regulatory tools must be consistent with SEPPs. 

Air policies 

  • State Environment Protection Policy (Ambient Air Quality) 
  • State Environment Protection Policy (Air Quality Management) 

Land policies

  • State Environment Protection Policy (Prevention and Management of Contaminated Land)

Noise policies

  • State Environment Protection Policy (Control of Music Noise from Public Premises) – No. N-2
  • State Environment Protection Policy (Control of Noise from Commerce, Industry and Trade) – No. N-1

Water policies

  • State Environment Protection Policy (Waters) 

Reviewed 15 May 2020