Environmental Protection Reform in Victoria

An overview of Victorian Environmental Protection reform that has been triggered by a renewed commitment and response to climate change and for the protection of our natural environment to ensure the health of the community.

In 2017 both the Climate Change Act 2017 and the Environment Protection Act 2017 were released with 2018 being a year of continued reform with the Environment Protection Act 2018 bill recently being passed.

The Climate Change Act 2017 was introduced to achieve a global response to protection of the planet against Global Warming:

  • “the people of Victoria that the international community has reached agreement to hold the global average temperature increase to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1·5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.”
  • “Through decisive, long-term action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the Victorian government can help Victoria achieve an orderly and just transition to a net zero greenhouse gas emissions economy and remain prosperous and liveable”.
  • “Victoria must also take strong action to build resilience to, and reduce the risks posed by, climate change and protect those most vulnerable.”
  • The Act establishes a framework for decision makers for:
    • Greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets
    • Climate change considerations
    • Policy objectives and guiding principles
    • Planning for climate change
    • Further information and reports
    • Forestry rights, carbon sequestration rights and soil carbon rights on private land
    • Carbon sequestration on Crown land
  • The Climate Change Regulations 2017 provides framework for:

The Environment Protection Act 1970 was subsequently amended to :

  • to regulate the emission of greenhouse gas substances to contribute to the State’s long-term emissions reduction target and interim emissions reduction targets under the Climate Change Act 2017;
  • and to
    • ensure continuation of the Environment Protection Authority (Vic), specify new governance structure establishing a Governing Board
    • introduce a new objective of the Authority from 1st July 2018 – “The objective of the Authority is to protect human health and the environment by reducing the harmful effects of pollution and waste.”
    • the inclusion of the Department of Health and Human Services in decisions relating to Works Approvals

The following supporting instruments have also been revised

  • Environment Protection (Scheduled Premises) Regulations 2017, which introduces
    • new levies (with at transitional provision for certain premises reprocessing electronic and glass waste)
    • establishes new emissions and discharge targets via noise, air, land & water and waste for the following schedule premises types: Waste treatment, disposal and recycling, Primary industry and allied operations, Mining, Animal derived by-products and food, Textiles, Wood and wood derivatives, Chemicals including petroleum, Non-metallic minerals (eg: cement works), Metals and engineering,Printing, Utilities, Others (that discharge or emit gases)
  •  State Environment Protection Policies SEPP (Waters) revised 19/10/2018
    • now one instrument for all Surface and Groundwater in Victoria
    • revised environmental protection targets
  • Waste Management Policy Reforms
    • Waste Management Policy (Combustible Recyclable and Waste Materials) for resource recovery facilities from 29/8/2018
    • Waste Management Policy (E-Waste) – View the Gazette (No. G26) banning e-Waste from landfill from 01/07/2019

The Environment Protection Act 2018 bill recently passed with the Act planned to take effect on 1st July 2020, introduces a modernised risk-based framework for the protection of the Natural Environmental with key changes being:

  • A preventative approach through a general environmental duty;
  • A tiered system of EPA permissions to support risk based and proportionate regulatory oversight – eg: licences, permits,
  • Modernising and strengthening EPA’s compliance and enforcement powers.
  • Introduction of Compliance Codes and Position Statements
  • Significant reforms to Contaminated Land and Waste management policies
  • Modified definition of Industrial Wastes – Introduction ‘priority waste’ for municipal and industrial waste that have resource recovery, recycling and reuse potential
  • Improved information sharing with other agencies
  • Requirements for more environmental information to be publicly available
  • Introduction of Voluntary Better Environment Plans;
  • Third party community rights that allows courts, on application by an individual or community, to enforce the new legislation where EPA has not acted
  • Company Director Liability
  • Increased maximum penalties – as high as 10,000 penalty units (~$1.5mill @ 2018)
  • Increased clean up and recovery costs
  • New notices, including improvement, prohibition and environmental action notices; higher penalties for illegal dumping;
  • Obligation to notify the EPA when pollution incidents and notifiable incidents occur (similar to OHS Law)

References

Posted in Enviro - Flora & Fauna, Enviro - Forestry & Products, Enviro - Resources & Efficiency, Enviro - Waste Management, Enviro - Water, Environment, Environmental Management Systems, Sustainable Forestry & Timber | Comments Off on Environmental Protection Reform in Victoria

Safe Work Australia updates to Codes of Practice

Safe Work Australia have undergone a major review Codes of Practice for regulated Workplace Hazards providing updates to associated controls and guidance, those updated in May 2018 are:

 

 

Posted in National OH&S Harmonisation, Safety Alert, Statutory Requirements, Workplace Health and Safety | Comments Off on Safe Work Australia updates to Codes of Practice

Victoria to Ban e-waste going to Landfill by 1 July 2019

The Victorian government reports that the amount of e-waste generated in Victoria is projected to increase from 109,000 tonnes in 2015 to approximately 256,000 tonnes in 2035.

Environment Victoria reports that “Acknowledging the risks and opportunities associated with e-waste, the Victorian Government will ban e-waste from Victoria’s landfill from 1 July 2019.  New regulatory measures, in the form of waste management policies, have been developed to ban e-waste from landfill and specify how e-waste must be managed. They are available on Environment Protection Authority Victoria’s website.”

To find out more about e-waste also visit:

For assistance in setting up your organisations e-waste Program

Contact Newave Systemation
Em:        newave@netspace.net.au
Mob:      0417 323 666
An Integrated Approach

Posted in Enviro - Resources & Efficiency, Enviro - Waste Management, Environment, Environmental Management Systems, Grants & Funding, Useful Resources | Comments Off on Victoria to Ban e-waste going to Landfill by 1 July 2019

WorkSafe Victoria release 2 new Compliance Codes

Compliance Codes are guidance tools for those who have responsibilities for the respective topics.

So if you conduct works involving Demolition or Excavation works, it would be diligent of you to review your current practices against the new Compliance Codes that were released in May 2018.

Compliance Code: Demolition
Compliance code: Excavation

 

 

Posted in Safety Alert, Statutory Requirements, Workplace Health and Safety | Comments Off on WorkSafe Victoria release 2 new Compliance Codes

World Environment Day 2018

Happy World Environment Day – how is your Organisation celebrating positive outcomes for the Natural Environment?

United Nations reports on the activities that global communities are conducting to celebrate and improve their local natural environment.

Today is a good day to review your contribution (in both our private and commercial lives) to the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) .

UN SDG goals that are specifically Environmental related are listed below, consider utilising these SDG Goals as worthy organisational Environmental Objectives and Targets within your organisation.

Posted in Enviro - Flora & Fauna, Enviro - Forestry & Products, Enviro - Resources & Efficiency, Enviro - Waste Management, Enviro - Water, Environment, Environmental Management Systems | Comments Off on World Environment Day 2018

WorkSafe Victoria release 5 new Compliance Codes

WorkSafe Victoria have announced the release of 5 new Compliance Codes to enable best practice with Vic OHS Regs 2017 and EPS Regs 2017.

The new Compliance Codes are:

Compliance code: Confined Spaces
Compliance code: Facilities in Construction
Compliance code: Hazardous Manual Handling
Compliance code: Noise
Compliance code: Plant

 

 

Posted in Statutory Requirements, Workplace Health and Safety | Comments Off on WorkSafe Victoria release 5 new Compliance Codes

Victorian OHS Regulations Reform

The Victorian OHS Regulations Reform is underway with two (2) major pieces of Victorian OHS Regulations having been updated and are effective from 18/06/2017, they are:

o   Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017
o   Equipment (Public Safety) Regulations 2017

WorkSafe Victoria has provided much information to assist you review implications for your organization:

For OHS Regs 2017 – The majority of changes affect workplaces: 
·        where asbestos is present
·        that manufacture or import and supply hazardous substances or agricultural and veterinary chemicals 
·        in the construction industry
·        that are mines or a major hazard facility

  • Frequently Asked Questions guide that is a useful starting point for understanding the changes and their implications for your organization.
  • The following Compliance Codes review is underway and have been open for Public Comment

    §  Hazardous Manual Handling Compliance Code
    §  Hazardous Substances Compliance Code
    §  Plant Compliance Code
    §  Confined Spaces Compliance Code
    §  Demolition Compliance Code
    §  Facilities in Construction Compliance Code
    §  Excavation Compliance Code
    §  Noise Compliance Code

  • The following Compliance Codes reviews are also underway and will soon be open for Public Comment:

    §  Managing Asbestos in Workplaces
    §  Removing Asbestos in Workplaces
    §  Prevention of Falls in Housing Construction
    §  Prevention of Falls in General Construction

  • Stay tuned …
Posted in Safety Alert, Statutory Requirements, Workplace Health and Safety | Comments Off on Victorian OHS Regulations Reform

Taking Paper to Glass

Newave Systemation are proud to announce our new alliance with

Kontrol4

delivering to your organisation Paper to Glass solutions.

  • Manage your Business Management System from a Dashboard any where anytime.
  • Say good-by to Paperwork – suitable to Civil Industries for Field based Plant Pre-Starts, SWMS, JSA’s, Incident Reporting.
  • Modules are also available for Job Planning, including assigning Assets to Jobs and completion of Job Sheets.

See some of the real life applications and the benefits for the Civil sector.

Mobile Quality Management System

Completing Safety Forms on Glass

Paperless Pre-Start Checklists – Case Study and Demonstration

Interested?  Call Newave Systemation today for an obligation free introduction.

Contact: Newave Systemation
Em           newave@netspace.net.au
Mob         0417 323 666
An Integrated Approach

Posted in Cool Apps, Environmental Management Systems, ISO, Quality, Workplace Health and Safety | Comments Off on Taking Paper to Glass

Office Size & Layout

A client planning a relocation to a new premises asked the question about Office Size & Layout requirements, here are some links to Australian compliance requirements and best practice guidance.

WorkSafe Victoria – Compliance Code – Workplace Amenities and Work Environment

WorkSafe Victoria – OfficeWise

National Construction Code (NCC) – Volume 1 – Section D1.13 Area Per Person According To Use
 
Posted in Statutory Requirements, Workplace Health and Safety | Comments Off on Office Size & Layout

Compliance News – Welding

Fumes emitted during Welding are deemed a Hazardous Substance to Human Health under Victorian Occupational Health & Safety Regulations 2007.   Welding is regulated in all parts of Australia not only for fume generation risk, but also due to the fact that it is a High Risk Hot Work activity that represents risks to both the Welder and those within the vicinity of Welding activities.  As such, legislation must be complied to and best practice guidance adopted where reasonably practicable.

National Legislation – ComLaw

  • Work Health and Safety Act 2011
  • Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011

SafeWork Australia

Victorian Legislation – Victorian Law Today

  • Environment Protection Act 1970
  • State Environment Protection Policy (Air Quality Management)
  • State Environment Protection Policy (Ambient Air Quality)
  • Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004
  • Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2007

Welding Technology Institute of Australia

WorkSafe Victoria

Posted in Environmental Management Systems, Statutory Requirements, Workplace Health and Safety | Comments Off on Compliance News – Welding