The objective of this audit was to determine whether landfills in Victoria are being appropriately regulated, constructed, managed and rehabilitated so as not to pose an unacceptable risk to the environment, human health and local amenity.
The audit examined the effectiveness of the Environment Protection Authority's (EPA) oversight of the management of both active and closed landfills. It also reviewed how well four councils—Ballarat City Council, East Gippsland Shire Council, Hume City Council and Wyndham City Council—complied with their legislative responsibilities and obligations when managing the landfills for which they are responsible.
EPA's oversight and councils' management of the highest risks associated with the generation of gas and contaminated water at landfills has significantly improved as a result of EPA's reforms, and councils' efforts to comply with these reforms. This is particularly evident for landfills and parts of landfills constructed since 2010.
However, improvement is required to better manage localised risks to the environment and surrounding community amenity from both active and closed landfills not designed and constructed to today’s better practice standards. Both EPA and councils have been slow to implement key initiatives to address these risks at older sites. Councils need to improve current operational, rehabilitation and after-care practices and EPA must more effectively oversee compliance with these requirements.