The Mornington Peninsula will be part of a pilot program that sees EPA Victoria officers established within councils to counter issues of noise, dust, odour and waste management resulting from small to medium businesses. Known as Officers for the Protection of the Local Environment (OPLE), these administrators will inform industry and community members on how to prevent, identify and resolve environmental issues with the aim of reducing outputs of relevant pollutants.
The recruiting of OPLEs is under way and has already resulted in “reducing response times to reports and improved industry compliance”, says EPA chief executive Dr Cathy Wilkinson. “As well as responding to issues such as dust, noise and odour, which have the potential to greatly affect liveability, the OPLEs will also be a valuable part of EPA’s increased focus on preventing and identifying illegal stockpiling and disposal of waste.”
The pilot began in 2017 with 11 OPLEs across 13 council areas and will be expanded to include eight more OPLEs across a further 10 councils. The Mornington Peninsula Shire will be one of them thanks to a $3.4 million boost from the State Government. Mornington Peninsula Shire Mayor David Gill said: “This project will assist in reducing problems including those arising from noise, dust, odour and waste management in small to medium businesses and will benefit many people on the Peninsula as well as protect our natural environment.”
As great supporters of keeping our part of the world as clean and pristine as possible, Mornington Peninsula Magazine can’t wait to see the results. The pilot is currently being funded until June 2020.