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Potentially Contaminated Land

Land that has been contaminated by industrial and similar activities is often discovered at the time when the use of land changes, for example, when land use changes from industrial to residential use.

In most cases, this can be managed at the time when the change of land use occurs.

Management of contaminated land

The management of contaminated land is mainly carried out through the environmental audit system, which has operated in Victoria since 1989.

The Environment Protection Act 1970 provides for the appointment by the Environment Protection Authority (EPA Victoria) of environmental auditors who conduct independent environmental audits. 

  • Environmental audit reports may be prepared by:

    • an EPA Victoria-appointed environmental auditor, or
    • an environmental auditor engaged by a person or organisation.

    EPA Victoria administers the environmental audit system and ensures its ongoing integrity by:

    • assessing auditor applications, and
    • ensuring audits are independent and are carried out according to guidelines issued by EPA Victoria.
  • The outcome of an environmental audit will either be:

    • A certificate of environmental audit which indicates that the auditor is of the opinion that the site is suitable for any beneficial uses, or
    • A statement of environmental audit which indicates that there is some restriction on the use of the site.
  • register of environmental audits issued within Victoria can be accessed through the EPA Victoria website.

  • The planning system plays an important part indentifying potentially contaminated land. This process is guided by the planning and contaminated land regulatory framework which includes:

    • Planning and Environment Act 1987
    • Ministerial Direction No. 1 – Potentially Contaminated Land
    • Planning Practice Note 30 Potentially Contaminated Land
    • Victoria Planning Provisions
    • Environment Protection framework

    You can find out more about this framework at Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning Contaminated Land and Planning webpage.