Victorian Environment, Energy and Climate Change Minister Lily D’Ambrosio has appointed a new Chair of EPA Victoria, with Kate Auty to assume the role form 1 July.
According to D’Ambrosio, Auty brings significant experience in the fields of public sector governance and administration, law, regulation and the environment.
Auty previously served as the Victorian Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability, and more recently held the role of Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment in the ACT.
“Prof Auty’s expertise, leadership, insights and skills will ensure strong leadership and governance of the EPA during this period of transition and major reform,” D’Ambrosio said.
Auty will act as Chair for a five year period.
“During this time, Prof Auty will support the government’s commitment to build a stronger, modern EPA to better protect Victoria’s environment and community from the harmful effects of pollution and waste,” D’Ambrosio said.
D’Ambrosio explained that the EPA is working hard on the implementation of the Environment Protection Amendment Act 2018, which will come into effect in 2021.
The new legislation has a key focus on preventing risks of harm from pollution and waste rather than managing harms after they have occurred and is modelled on occupational health and safety legislation.
Some of the most significant changes include a general environmental duty, which requires all Victorians undertaking an activity with risks of harm to the environment and human health to identify and implement reasonably practical means to eliminate or minimise these risks.
This covers risks from waste management activities, from generation, right through to disposal.
Under the new legislation, licences will also be subject to regular reviews and a risk-based environmental audit regime introduced.
“The EPA also has a major role to play in the delivery of the government’s overhaul of waste and recycling,” she said.
“The EPA will also work closely with industry and businesses so they can operate in a way that’s safe for the community and environment.”