Due to current circumstances and to support the Victorian Government’s response to it, commencement of the Environment Protection Amendment Act 2018 has been postponed until 1 July 2021.

This decision is part of the government’s focus on delivering a comprehensive suite of initiatives designed to ease the burden on business, industry and Victorians as they address the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19).

As a result of this decision, Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) will continue to regulate under the Environment Protection Act 1970, including all subordinate legislation (regulations and statutory policies including state environment protection policies and waste management policies) until the new commencement date.

On 1 July 2021 the amended Environment Protection Amendment Act 2018 (the new Act) is intended to come into force. This is the single greatest overhaul of environment protection legislation in Victoria since the tabling of the Environment Protection Act 1970.

An important part of the Act is the general environmental duty (GED). The GED says that any person engaging in an activity that can cause harm to public health or the environment, from pollution or waste, must minimise those risks. From government to business to community, the GED applies to all Victorians.

These new laws will ensure we are all responsible for minimising our impacts on the environment. To be ready for these changes EPA is currently developing new subordinate instruments, industry guidance and EPA policy documents.

The first piece of work we consulted on was subordinate legislation. Subordinate legislation is the group of tools that will support the new Act. These tools include regulations to support the Act and Environmental Reference Standards.

EPA is also consulted on a Draft Charter of Consultation. A Charter of Consultation is required under the new Act and describes EPA's commitment to consultation and outlines specific consultation processes relating to key regulatory activities and decisions.

Follow this page for updates on the development and implementation of the new laws.