The Ministerial Advisory Committee conducting the public inquiry into EPA Victoria is working through the submissions received ahead of submitting its final report in March.
The Inquiry was established on 1 June 2015 with a specific Terms of Reference, which includes examining the EPA role, powers and tools in Victoria, governance and funding, and to make recommendations to government. The closing date for written submissions was 31 October 2015, with over 200 received from the waste and recycling industry and businesses, local government, and peak bodies and associations.
In its response, the Australian Organics Recycling Association (AORA) outlined five areas it would like to see addressed with EPA VIC: consistency, expertise, local government interaction, on-farm composters and communication.
The Waste Management Association of Australia’s submission highlighted four areas for review: environmental justice, landfill policy development and implementation, approval timing and EPA resourcing. On introducing new landfill policy, WMAA recommends starting a channel of communication between the auditors meeting and the landfill sector to avoid issues currently experienced with sudden introductions of new licensing requirements.
Based on its experiences with EPA VIC, Cleanaway’s response raises two particular issues for consideration: improving regulatory efficiency around the assessment and processing of landfill cell applications (echoing a similar assertion from WMAA) and building enough flexibility into regulation to maximise the opportunity for recovery and re-use of waste streams.
All the submissions are now available to read on the EPA Inquiry website. The report to Victoria’s Minister for the Environment, Lisa Neville, is due on 31 March.