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Vic EPA puts waste crime in its sights

More than 70 officers will join Victoria’s new Waste Crime Prevention Inspectorate to reduce waste crime. It is the largest recruitment of specialists in the Environment Protection Authority’s (EPA’s) history.

An additional $71.4 million is being invested to better detect, prevent, investigate and prosecute waste crime through Recycling Victoria – the Government’s ten-year plan to transform the state’s waste and recycling sector.

The recruitment drive is focusing on hiring forensic accountants to tackle illegal phoenix activity, surveillance officers, intelligence analysts and more environmental protection officers to reinforce EPA’s zero tolerance approach to waste crime.

According to the Victorian EPA, the new Waste Crime officers will target activities like illegal waste dumping, the unsafe storage and transport of waste and landfill levy fraud.

“We are tackling waste crime head on. These new experts will detect, combat and help prevent waste crime, and hold waste criminals to account.”

“The Waste Crime Prevention Inspectorate will have forensic accountants and intelligence analysts, who will work hard to keep Victorians safe and the environment protected,” Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio said.

Collaboration

The Waste Crime Prevention Inspectorate will work with WorkSafe Victoria, Victoria Police, emergency services agencies, local government and other regulators to improve and streamline intelligence sharing, and crack down waste crime in Victoria.

The Government is also delivering $11.5 million for new infrastructure to process high-risk and hazardous waste safely.

Other recent initiatives include the introduction of an electronic waste tracking system to better track hazardous waste, using drones to detect illegal activity, as well as a record number of inspections and prosecutions for dangerous and criminal behaviour.

“EPA takes a zero-tolerance approach to waste crime.”

“These new specialists will join our existing workforce to protect the community and our environment from illegal and unsafe storage, transport, and disposal of waste,” EPA CEO Cathy Wilkinson added.