2 May 2022

On 1 July 2021 the largest change to Victoria’s environmental laws in half a century came into effect.

Victoria’s Environment Protection Act 2017 increased EPA’s powers and fundamentally shifted the State’s approach to environmental regulation. This new preventative approach and Australia’s first criminally enforceable general environmental duty have significantly altered how EPA operates and our plan to meet the environmental challenges Victoria faces.

As we approached the first anniversary of this major change, EPA's Chief Environmental Scientist, Professor Mark Patrick Taylor, and special guests Professor Kate Auty (EPA Governing Board Chair) and Mark Rossiter (Executive Director, Operations) shared insights from within EPA and on-the-ground across Victoria.  

Host: Professor Mark Patrick Taylor, Chief Environmental Scientist, EPA Victoria

Mark Patrick Taylor is Victoria’s Chief Environmental Scientist at EPA Victoria, previously being a Professor of Environmental Science and Human Health at Macquarie University, Sydney, specialising in environmental contamination and the risks it can pose.

His research expertise covers environmental contamination in aerosols, dusts, sediments, soil, water and potential risks to human health. His work has focused on mining and smelting emissions and depositions, as well as contamination in urban environments. His work is genuinely global with research, consulting and expert advice covering Australia, Africa, Asia, Chile, New Caledonia, Fiji, Indonesia, New Zealand, UK and the USA.

Prof Taylor’s work has a special focus on ‘human environments’ including analysis of blood lead levels in children, firefighter PFAS exposures, trace metals in wine, honey, residential veggie patches, household dusts and drinking water. Topical research includes assessment of atmospheric trace metal emissions from wildfires.

Guest Speaker: Professor Kate Auty, EPA Board Chair

Kate is a Professorial Fellow at the University of Melbourne, a Director of the Urban Climate change research Network's Oceania Hub, and a member of the writing team with Future Earth Australia and the Australian Academy of Science.

She has extensive experience with environmental and climate issues. This includes as the Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment in the Australian Capital Territory.

Kate is a member of the Victorian Bar. She has worked extensively as a magistrate and coroner.

Kate continues to volunteer with community environmental and sustainability groups in north east Victoria.

Guest Speaker: Mark Rossiter, Executive Director, Operations

Mark Rossiter will be joined by two subject matter experts: Rachel Gualano (Director Metropolitan Melbourne Operations , and Kellie Loughman (Director - Regional Victoria Operations).

Before joining EPA, Mark was Executive Director Operations and Chief Corporate Officer at the Victorian Building Authority, Manager Stakeholder Strategy and Manager Air Navigation Service Strategy at Airservices Australia, Head of Safety at Jetstar Airways, Manager Safety Oversight at the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, and Human Factors Specialist at Qantas.

The Operations Division leads EPA’s frontline regulatory response to detect, prevent and investigate harm to the environment and human health from pollution and waste. The division does this by engagement and education; inspections and monitoring; surveillance and investigations; and enforcing duty holders to comply with the law.

Core functions: compliance and enforcement; education and engagement; investigations; high risk site clean-up; compliance programs; field specialists; waste transport; infringement management; financial assurance and levies; preventative programs; and incident coordination.

Reviewed 6 May 2022