Local business people and community members can learn more about Victoria's new environment laws at a series of drop in sessions across Gippsland.
Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) will run local sessions at Leongatha, Drouin, Bairnsdale, Wonthaggi, Morwell and Sale, through October.
EPA Senior Engagement Advisor Stacey Clark will be on hand, to answer questions and provide information on the new environment laws.
The new Act emphasises the need to prevent pollution occurring, but still provides for significant deterrents including fines up to $1.6 million for breaches.
Reckless and deliberate acts that cause pollution could lead to fines of up to $3.2 million and possible jail for individuals.
Businesses and individuals will be covered by the new laws from 1 July 2020.
EPA is proactively engaging with businesses, so they understand how to comply with the new law and the benefits of being compliant.
The drop-in sessions will be at:
- Leongatha - Thursday 3 October, South Gippsland Shire Council Chambers, meeting room 1, 9 Smith St
- Drouin - Friday 4 October, Baw Baw Shire Council, Buln Buln meeting room, 33 Young Street
- Bairnsdale - Friday 11 October, Bairnsdale Library, 22 Service St
- Wonthaggi - Wednesday 16 October, Bass Coast Shire Council, Meeting room 2, 76 McBride Ave
- Morwell - Thursday 17 October, Latrobe City Council, Krauatungalung meeting room, 141 Commercial Rd
- Sale - Thursday 31 October, Wellington Shire Council, 18 Desailly St
The Environment Protection Amendment Act 2018 takes a new approach, focusing on preventing waste and pollution impacts rather than managing impacts after they have occurred.
The legislation will enhance the protection of Victoria’s environment and human health through a more proportionate, risk-based environment protection framework that includes:
- A preventative approach through a General Environmental Duty.
- A tiered system of permissions to support risk based and proportionate regulatory oversight.
- Significant reforms to contaminated land and waste management.
- Increased maximum penalties.
- Requirements for more environmental information to be publicly available.
- Modernising and strengthening EPA’s compliance and enforcement powers.
You can find more information about the new Act, and have your say, on the Engage Victoria website, here: https://engage.vic.gov.au/new-environmental-laws