Pol­luters put on no­tice

The Tatura Guardian - - News - By Thomas Moir

The En­vi­ron­ment Pro­tec­tion Au­thor­ity is set to keep a closer eye than ever on the re­gion’s pol­lu­tion lev­els with an of­fi­cer based at Greater Shepparton City Coun­cil.

The of­fi­cer will ad­dress ar­eas where over­lap of re­spon­si­bil­ity be­tween the EPA and the coun­cil ex­ists and a faster re­sponse ac­tion is launched.

While not em­ployed by the coun­cil, of­fi­cer Heath Ro­bi­son will be based in the coun­cil’s cham­bers on Wels­ford St.

The po­si­tion be­came avail­able af­ter Greater Shepparton was se­lected in the Of­fi­cers for the Protec- tion of the Lo­cal En­vi­ron­ment pi­lot pro­gram, plac­ing EPA em­ploy­ees at lo­cal coun­cils, fac­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues at the coal­face.

The of­fi­cers will re­spond to pol­lu­tion re­ports, pro­vide in­for­ma­tion and ed­u­ca­tion op­por­tu­ni­ties, sup­port pol­lu­tion pre­ven­tion ac­tiv­i­ties and do premises in­spec­tions, the EPA said.

EPA act­ing chief ex­ec­u­tive Tim Ea­ton hoped hav­ing a ded­i­cated re­source would mean faster iden­ti­fi­ca­tion and res­o­lu­tion of lo­cal pol­lu­tion prob­lems would be pos­si­ble.

Coun­cil’s sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment di­rec­tor Jo­hann Ra­jarat­nam said the sup­port of the EPA on lo­cal is­sues would ‘‘be valu­able in that re­ports can be dealt with more quickly with some­one based at coun­cil’’.

Coun­cil chief ex­ec­u­tive Peter Har­riott hoped an im­proved un­der­stand­ing of the work of the EPA and a closer re­la­tion­ship with the au­thor­ity could be de­vel­oped.

He said the coun­cil was in­ter­ested to take part in the pi­lot pro­gram and hoped to se­cure it for the fu­ture.

En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Lily D’Am­bro­sio had said the pro­gram was about de­liv­er­ing prac­ti­cal sup­port to coun­cils to help de­liver a health­ier en­vi­ron­ment for Vic­to­ri­ans.

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