Government Environment Protection Policy - What works, doesn't, is best or unclear?
For the full 27 page background discussion paper on this Victorian EPA policy review see
How EPA uses statutory policy
How others use statutory policy
Government agencies and authorities
Business and industry
Statutory policies provide communities with information about environmental standards (such as standards for clean air and noise pollution) and specific requirements on industry. They also set out the agreed environmental values the community wishes to protect. Community members may look to policies to understand the requirements on business to minimise their impact on the environment.
In the Compliance and Enforcement Review, community members raised concerns regarding the current coverage of the policies, that they were difficult to understand and at times out of date. These issues are also discussed further in section 4, ‘Critical challenges for policy’.
Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) and the courts
Where relevant, VCAT refers to statutory policy in its reviews of EPA decisions and the application of statutory policy by third parties.17 For example, under planning legislation, VCAT is required to ‘take account of and give effect to’ any relevant statutory policy when it is determining an application for review under that ActThe courts also refer to statutory policy when decisions are appealed on points of law.Significantly, VCAT has commented on the need for EPA’s policies, guidelines and other publications to be consistent with one another, accessible and easy to navigate.
Question 1: In your experience, what has worked well with statutory policy? What has not worked well?
Question 2: How well do you think the features and obligations in statutory policy are understood? Are some parts better understood than others?
(We would welcome some examples).
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