The Victorian Government has made a Compliance Code (Code) for eight of Victoria’s Big Build Projects under section 100 of the new Environment Protection Act 2017 (the Act).
The Code applies to the eight major transport infrastructure projects currently being delivered by the Major Transport Infrastructure Authority (MTIA), that have already undergone an Environment Effects Statement (EES) assessment process under the Environment Effects Act 1978.
EPA developed the Code in consultation with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) and MTIA in response to concerns raised during public consultation on Victoria’s new environment protection laws where industry sought assurance that existing approvals and environmental management frameworks would continue to be valid throughout the transition.
EPA had strong input into the EES processes for each project and is satisfied that the existing approvals and frameworks will appropriately cover the relevant requirements of the new Act, the Environment Protection Regulations 2021 (Regulations) and associated subordinate legislation and instruments.
We considered the Code was the most appropriate tool to provide duty holders with assurance.
What does the Compliance Code for Victoria’s Big Build Projects do?
The Code provides practical guidance on how to comply with specific duties and obligations under the Act and Regulations. It focuses on the following duties and obligations:
- the general environmental duty, which obliges a person who is engaging in an activity that may give rise to risks of harm to human health or the environment from pollution or waste to minimise those risks, so far as reasonably practicable
- the duty to manage contaminated land, which obliges a person in management or control of contaminated land to minimise risks of harm to human health and the environment from the contaminated land so far as reasonably practicable
- the obligation not to emit or permit the emission of unreasonable noise from a place or premises that are not residential premises.
EPA considers that by linking these specific duties and obligations to relevant statutory approvals and contractual requirements, the practical guidance provided by the Code will help duty holders to ensure that the relevant projects can continue to undertake the design and construction activity in accordance with the measures established during the EES process.
Compliance codes are a legal tool that describe actions to take, to be compliant under certain circumstances. However, they are not mandatory, and you might have different ways of showing compliance. Your standard of risk control must be equal to or better than the code, in order to be compliant.
The Code applies to:
- North East Link Project
- Melbourne Metro Rail Project, known as the Metro Tunnel Project
- West Gate Tunnel Project
- Mordialloc Freeway (also referred to as the Mordialloc Bypass Project)
- Western Highway Project – Section 2B – Buangor to Ararat
- Echuca-Moama Bridge Project (Stage 3)
- Edithvale and Bonbeach Level Crossing Removal Projects
- Princes Highway East Duplication Project (Stage 3).
For more information and to access the Compliance Code for Victoria’s Big Build Projects visit the Compliance Code for Victoria’s Big Build Projects web page.
You can contact EPA by calling 1300 EPA VIC (1300 372 842), by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or through the EPA Interaction Portal.