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Environment Protection Law Reform - postponed 1 Year

Stefan Fiedler

On Thursday, 23 April 2020 the Victorian Parliament passed the COVID-19 Omnibus (Emergency Measures) Bill 2020 (Vic) introducing a range of measures to facilitate the Victorian Government’s response to the pandemic.

These measures include deferring the commencement of the reform to the environment protection legislation in Victoria by 12 months to 1 December 2021 or an earlier date by proclamation.

This configuration is identical to the current amendment legislation, which provided for the proclamation published in the Victorian Government Gazette on 3 March 2020 setting 1 July 2020 as the commencement date for the reformed legislation. This publication is now revoked.

Provision remains for the Victorian Government to proclaim an earlier commencement date than 1 December 2021 which sensibly would include the commencement of the financial year at 1 July 2021. Victoria’s recovery from the current health crisis and economic shutdown will dictate when the Victorian Government is prepared to introduce Victoria’s substantive law reform to Victorian environment protection legislation.

The Environment Protection Act 1970 (Vic) will remain in force to be repealed on 1 July 2022.

Current community engagement on subordinate legislative reform and other consequential changes flowing from the reform to the environment protection legislation will now be reconfigured and timeframes extended, including for example the current engagement relating to ‘Integrating Environment Protection Reform into Land Use Planning’ open through Engage Victoria.

If you require any further information, please contact Stefan Fiedler on (03) 9609 1672 or 0437 734 742.

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