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Vic gov receives over 300 submissions for new environmental regulations and standards

The Victorian government has received more than 300 submissions from members of the public who have expressed interest in Victoria’s new environmental regulations and standards.

Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) Dr Cathy Wilkinson said that feedback received has been very positive, including suggestions from industry, business and community members on how to improve the regulations.

“It’s fantastic that so many individuals and organisations have taken the time to have their say. Their comments will ensure the regulations and standards are sound and robust,” Wilkinson said.

Department of Environment Land Water and Planning (DELWP) executive director Mark Rodrigues said the project also engaged with EPA Industry Reference and Community Groups as well as local and state government stakeholders.

“We’ve had a great response to the consultation process and this feedback will be invaluable in helping us shape this important legislation to better protect our environment,” Rodrigues said.

EPA and DELWP are now reviewing all submissions received and have committed to responding to comments provided through the Victorian government’s Response to Public Comment Report in 2020. Feedback that goes beyond the scope of public comment on proposed regulations and standards will be considered in light of EPA’s broader transformation program.

The proposed regulations and standards were open for public comment from September to October 2019.

EPA and DELWP worked together to develop the proposed regulations and standards in consultation with community, government and industry stakeholders. The engagement process included more than 100 individual and small group meetings, an Impact Assessment, a Regulatory Impact Statement and survey conducted by Deloitte Access Economics, which had 100 responses.

In addition, the project facilitated stakeholder working groups that focused on proposed air, water, waste, noise, contaminated land and permission frameworks.

The public comment period was held over 60 days and was open to everyone to provide feedback.

The Response to Public Comment Report will be released in early 2020, before Victoria’s new environment laws take effect on July 1.