The Victorian Auditor General tabled a report “Improving Victoria’s Air Quality” today. The audit examined whether Victoria’s air quality meets national standards for pollutant components such as ozone and particulate matter and looked at:
- the roles and responsibilities of Victorian agencies in air quality management
- monitoring and reporting on air quality
- management of point and diffuse source discharges.
The Victorian Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is the agency primarily responsible for monitoring, regulating and reporting on the state's air quality. The Auditor General made four recommendations for EPA, and one further recommendation for EPA and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP).
The recommendations for the EPA include:
- Expand its air monitoring network
- Improve its reporting on air quality
- Expand and update its knowledge-base on air quality
- Work with councils to address air quality issues at the Brooklyn Industrial Precinct
The one recommendation that is addressed to both the EPA and DELWP is to:
- Clarify roles and responsibilities of relevant Victorian government agencies and develop protocols to ensure accountabilities are understood and coordination is achieved.
The Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability, Dr Gillian Sparkes, will next report on air quality data in the 2018 Victorian State of the Environment report and has been a strong advocate for better use of digital technologies and data analytics by public sector agencies to make air quality and other environmental data more readily accessible, in real time for communities across Victoria. EPA currently have major reforms underway in this area.
If you have a concern about air quality, please phone EPA on 1300 372 842 or http://www.epa.vic.gov.au/about-us/contact-us.