EPA officer begins work in the Surf Coast with local pollution focus

9 October 2017

Surf Coast Shire Council has a new Environment Protection Authority (EPA) Victoria officer that will keep an eye on local pollution problems.

Council’s new EPA officer began work Monday 9 October and is part of a pilot program – Officers for the Protection of the Local Environment (OPLE) – that will see EPA officers work with selected councils across Victoria.

EPA Acting Chief Executive Officer Tim Eaton said the OPLE program will build on EPA’s existing relationships with local councils.

“While we already work closely together on many issues, having a dedicated resource through the OPLE program will mean there is faster identification and resolution of local pollution problems,” Mr Eaton said.

“OPLE officers will respond to pollution reports, provide information and education activities to support the prevention of pollution, and undertake proactive inspections of premises.”

Surf Coast Shire Council Mayor Brian McKiterick welcomed the EPA officer.

“With our growing community, the program will enhance our existing services and support us to respond to local pollution issues,” Cr McKiterick said.

“The new officer aligns with our purpose – to help our community and environment to thrive.”

The OPLE program is part of a suite of reforms that are being put in place as part of the $162.5 million reform of EPA announced in the latest Victorian Budget.

The reforms will help EPA meet the challenges that come with a constantly changing economy, population and climate.

EPA officers have been assigned to 13 councils around the state: Port Phillip, Casey, Greater Dandenong, Wyndham, Surf Coast, Mildura, Greater Shepparton, Wodonga, Loddon, Buloke, Central Goldfields, Brimbank and Hobsons Bay. The successful councils were chosen from 34 which expressed interest.

EPA is Victoria’s environmental regulator. Its job is to protect the environment and people by preventing and reducing harm from pollution and waste. For further information about EPA visit www.epa.vic.gov.au.