New EPA Victoria CEO appointed

A new Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) Chief Executive Officer has been appointed, replacing Nial Finegan who had been in the role for four years.

Dr Cathy Wilkinson has been selected for the role, having worked with the EPA since 2015 and previously held senior leadership roles in the planning, water and environment portfolios for various state government departments.

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She has been a member of Ministerial Advisory Committees and has provided environmental leadership for international organisations such as the Stockholm Resilience Centre.

EPA Chairperson Cheryl Batagol said Dr Wilkinson’s experience will be invaluable as the EPA continues its transformation process.

“This is an exciting time for the EPA as we consolidate our leadership team and continue working to become Victoria’s modern, agile environmental regulator,” Ms Batagol said.

“We are committed to continuing our successful engagement with our stakeholders and undertaking extensive consultation throughout this period of change and transformation.”

EPA Victoria’s focus is implementing the new powers and tools granted to them by the state government to prevent risks to the environment and human health.

Changes from the Environment Protection Act 2017 and Environment Protection Amendment Bill 2018 will require an overhaul of the EPA’s systems, services and processes by 2020.

Chairperson appointed to EPA Victoria Board

In December, Cheryl Batagol was appointed Chairperson of the new Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA Victoria) Governing Board.

Ms Batagol has been Chair of the EPA, under the current governing structure, since 2009 and brings more than 40 years’ experience in waste management, water and environment sectors to the position.

Ms Batagol’s two-year appointment will take effect from 1 July 2018 when the new Governing Board commences and the new Environment Protection Act 2017 comes into effect.

The board will introduce five to nine members to oversee the authority and include people with a wide variety of skills.

The board will lead EPA Victoria through a period of transition and continue the work of the Victorian Government to implement its response to the Independent Inquiry into the EPA.

Recruitment for the remaining board members is currently underway, with more announcements to come this year.

The Victorian Government has invested $162.5 million over five years to reform and improve environment protection in the state.