Climate Change and Environment Protection Amendment Act 2012
In late 2012, the Victorian Government passed the Climate Change and Environment Protection Amendment Act 2012 which, amongst other things, amends the Environment Protection Act 1970 to improve community amenity and reduce business costs. These amendments came into operation on 13 February 2013. Further details on the key amendments to the Environment Protection Act are outlined below. 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 Victorias 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. 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. Service fee repealed: EPA will no longer impose a service fee ($501.20 in 2012-13) when it serves an abatement notice, pollution abatement notice or clean up notice on a business.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.