Environment officers work with councils

In a pilot program in Victoria, Environment Protection Authority (EPA) Officers are working with selected councils to monitor local pollution.

Surf Coast Shire Council’s new EPA officer began work in October and as part of the pilot program – Officers for the Protection of the Local Environment (OPLE) – that will see EPA officers work with 13 councils across Victoria.

EPA Acting Chief Executive Officer Tim Eaton said the OPLE program would 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.”

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 that expressed interest in the program.