The Victorian Government is to establish a joint Government taskforce to target key recycling sites requiring extra management measures to ensure community safety.
The taskforce will comprise Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA), Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB), Country Fire Authority (CFA) and Emergency Management Victoria (EMV).
The taskforce will audit recycling facilities across Victoria, to identify and prioritise sites that require action such as a Fire Management Plan to better protect community. It will also consult with waste resource and recovery groups.
To ensure the taskforce has sufficient support to deliver immediate action, Minister D’Ambrosio intends to declare, under section 18B of the Environment Protection Act 1970, an interim waste management policy to require facilities to store materials in a manner that minimises risk to human health and the environment.
It will outline requirements for appropriate storage of recyclable materials, require risk assessment by operators, and compliance with fire services guidelines. Non-compliance with this interim policy could lead to sanctions under the Environment Protection Act 1970.
The interim policy will remain in place for 12 months while a more permanent solution is finalised.
The Labor Government has also set a 30 year Statewide Waste and Resource Recovery Infrastructure Plan to set the priorities for effectively managing waste, including providing a record $30.4 million over four years to improve waste and recovery resource management.