Since 2004–05, Victorians have been paying for the
costs of sustainable water-related initiatives through their water
bills. This has been in the form of the Environmental
Contribution Levy (ECL), which is linked to the revenue of
water businesses. By 2015–16 it is expected that almost $1 billion
will have been collected through the ECL. The Department of
Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) is responsible for
administering the ECL and the initiatives it funds.
While DEPI’s administration of individual ECL projects has
generally been sound, there are deficiencies in the department’s
management of the levy. In particular, there have been weaknesses
in the processes for selecting and prioritising proposed projects
across the three tranches of the levy.
While the ECL revenue collected has increased substantially over
time, DEPI has not clearly articulated the strategic priorities for
the levy, nor undertaken an analysis of the level of investment
needed to address them.
DEPI has not assessed the fund's overall performance against its
objectives nor established an evaluation framework. DEPI has
provided only limited public information about the
levy—consequently, there is a lack of transparency about how the
levy is used.
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Engagement Quality Control Reviewer
Last updated on 10/21/2015