.

By Cam Lucadou-Wells

Officers from the Environment Protection Authority will be embedded in Casey council’s offices to improve the EPA’s response to pollution and waste issues.
Casey is one of 13 Victorian councils to take part in the $4.8 million, pilot program, which stemmed from an independent inquiry into the EPA.
The Officers for the Protection of the Local Environment (OPLEs) will work with the council and EPA to tackle small-scale complaints of illegal dumping, litter, noise, dust and odour at industrial sites and businesses.
Their work is expected to help EPA’s regular officers respond to larger and more complex pollution reports, EPA southern metro manager Marleen Matthias said.
She said EPA’s regular officers would continue to manage dust issues from the O’Grady Road, Hallam site.
“The pilot aims to deliver a more localised and faster response to local small-scale waste and pollution issues.
“It won’t only be about enforcement, a major focus for the OPLEs will be providing pro-active support and compliance advice to businesses in their regions.”
The trial will encourage greater co-operation between the Council and EPA, Ms Mathias said.
“EPA will work with the councils to formulate work plans for the officers that meet each municipality’s local needs.”
Casey councillor Damien Rosario, in welcoming the move, said it would put “more people on the ground” to tackle pollution complaints in a timely fashion.
Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said the state-funded program would give practical support to councils.
“The new officers will complement the role of existing EPA based environment protection officers meaning more officers on the ground, more support and expert advice, and more investigations into compliance.”
The 15-month program will begin in September.
It is part of the State Government’s $162.5 million budgeted response over five years to the EPA inquiry’s findings.

Your first stop before buying a home. View the whole picture.

More News

Town crier Robert Wingrave, pictured with councillor Wayne Smith, was called into action for the City of Casey’s final ...

Casey Council is set to investigate ways to activate the “passive” reserve Ackland Park in Narre Warren North. Councillor Rosalie ...

No one should have to live with this. On first blush, the lush, spacious suburban parkland at the end of ...

How’s this for a sign of the times? A seven-bedroom mansion has broken the $2-million barrier for what is ...

A locally based solar farm could deliver affordable energy to residents and revenue to Casey Council, says councillor Amanda Stapledon. ...

It seems like it takes more than one phone call to get simple repair work from Telstra. Michael Phelps, of ...

Latest Sport

Make no mistake about it – Perry Lewis-Smith will never give up on his AFL dream. The 18-year-old athletic beast is ...

Finding a more determined and competitive pair of brothers than Beaconsfield’s Tom and Ben Bramich would be a fruitless ...

Berwick and Haileybury College youngster Nathan Dowsett is a good old-fashioned sports fanatic. Whether it is kicking goals playing for ...