On 1 July 2021, the Victorian Environment Protection Act came into force. The Act and its regulations represent a significant change in environmental management across Victoria, with a move from prosecution to prevention.
The centrepiece of the changes is a new General Environmental Duty (GED), which will require all Victorians to take practicable measures to avoid environmental damage. This will operate in a similar way to current WorkSafe arrangements, which farmers are familiar with.
Storage of tyres for use in silage production, management of effluent, and compost production have emerged as the key issues for dairy farm businesses.
Dairy Australia, along with the United Dairyfarmers of Victoria, have been working with the EPA through the Agriculture Reference Group to ensure that the new regulations for on-farm environmental management are commensurate with risk, practical, easy to manage, and do not replicate the extensive risk management processes and procedures that farmers already undertake.
Further information about the changes is available in the documents found in the resources section below.
In July 2021, DA hosted an informative webinar outlining the regulatory changes and what they mean for dairy. You can view the webinar or read the summary document at the links below.
On the request of UDV and Dairy Australia, in late 2021 the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change requested that the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning undertake a review of the new regulations for on-farm tyre storage to ensure that they are not onerous and are commensurate with the risk posed by the activity. This review is ongoing and further information will be available as the review progresses.
Dairy Australia has prepared a range of tools to help dairy farmers work out how to navigate the new Victorian Regulations for a range of common on-farm practices and scenarios.
1: Victoria's New Environmental Protection LawsPDF, 4.34 MB
2021 April: EPA VIC reforms and dairy farm impactPDF, 177.58 KB
Factsheet: Safe use of tyres on farmPDF, 493.41 KB
EPA requirements for common on-farm scenariosPPTX, 171.57 KB
Factsheet: Safe use of tyres for fodder conservationPDF, 493.41 KB
Decision tool: How to manage tyres on farmPDF, 327.19 KB
Decision tool: Disposing of manures and effluent to landPDF, 710.42 KB
Decision tool: How to establish lawful place for management of on-farm wastesPDF, 305.15 KB