Changes to Victorian enviornmental laws – effective 13 February 2013

There have been changes to the Environment Protection (EP) Act which now sees increased powers for police and Council officers to protect communities from residential noise.  The changes also sees  rises in fines such as littering from a motor vehicle. 

To support this, the Victorian Government had passed the Climate Change and Environment Protection Amendment Act 2012 in late 2012 which amended the Environment Protection Act 1970. These amendments came into effect on 13 February 2013. 

Key amendments to the Environment Protection Act 1970 are as follows:

o   “Noise Abatement Directions Can Now Remain In Force For Up 72 Hours 

A direction to abate unreasonable noise from residential premises has increased from a flat 12 hours to a maximum of 72 hours. This will further protect families and communities from excessive noise by ensuring that residential noise can be adequately managed over weekends. The change will deter repeat offenders as well as reduce resource demands on Victoria Police and Councils who are the government agencies that issue and enforce residential noise abatement directions.” 

o   “Service fee repealed 

EPA will no longer impose a service fee ($501.20 in 2012-13) when it serves an abatement notice, pollution abatement notice or clean up notice on a business. Businesses can use the savings to remove pollution and/or undertake site clean-ups. The service fee is an unnecessary administrative cost on business and contributes no environmental benefit. Penalties for failing to comply with an abatement, pollution abatement or clean up notice are unchanged.”


o   “Common litter fines doubled 

Litter infringement penalties have doubled for two common littering offences. The penalty for an offence involving burning litter (such as a cigarette butt) is now $563. The penalty for an offence involving an extinguished cigarette butt, a ring pull or any other small item is now $282. These increases bring Victoria’s legislation into line with community expectations that littering is completely unacceptable. Apart from obvious visual impacts, litter pollutes our waterways and foreshores, blocks drains, harms the health of our wildlife, can cause local land contamination and can be a fire hazard.”

AEBN New Environmental Obligations for 2013 Seminar 

At the forthcomingAEBN New Environmental Obligations for 2013 Seminar, scheduled for 22 February 2013, the program will focus on changes to environmental laws and funding opportunities expected in 2013.  To ensure you are up to date with your environmental obligations, pleaseregister onlineto attend this Seminar.  The AEBN has 5 places remaining to be filled – thus register early to secure your place.

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