In May 2015, the
Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water appointed a Ministerial
Advisory Committee to undertake an independent Inquiry into the Environment
Protection Authority (EPA).
Ministerial Advisory Committee
The Ministerial Advisory Committee for the Inquiry was chaired by Penny
Armytage, former Secretary of the Department of Justice. Ms Armytage was
supported by Deputy Chair Jane Brockington and Ms Janice van Reyk.
Penny Armytage (Chair)
Ms Armytage is a senior partner in the Management Consulting
Group at KPMG, and has held several senior executive positions in the Victorian
Government Public Service, including Secretary of the Department of Justice for
almost 10 years.
Ms Armytage has overseen major policy and service delivery
reforms in the justice and human services sectors, and has worked extensively
with Ministers, department and agency leaders, and heads of jurisdiction across
the Victorian public sector and nationally.
Jane Brockington (Deputy Chair)
Ms Brockington has over 20 years experience working with boards,
governance bodies and executive teams. Ms Brockington is the Principal of
Bridging Policy and Practice, a consulting and advisory business. Ms Brockington
has held the roles of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Victorian Commission
for Liquor and Gambling Regulation, overseeing its creation in 2012 and
implementing a new regulatory approach, as well as CEO of the 2009 Victorian
Bushfires Royal Commission, which set a new benchmark for the conduct of
Janice van Reyk
Ms van Reyk is a highly experienced non-Executive Director
currently serving on the boards of Melbourne Water, Port of Melbourne, Citywide
and Northern Territory EPA, as well as serving as an independent member of The
Salvation Army Audit and Risk Committee and an independent member of the
Sustainability Victoria Audit Finance and Risk Committee. Ms van Reyk's
experience is diverse, with a strong commercial background as a senior
executive in ASX listed industrial companies as well as environmental
experience in environmental and socio-economic assessments, stakeholder
consultation and environmental remediation. Ms van Reyk holds
multi-disciplinary qualifications in commerce, environment, law and economics.
She is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a
Leadership Victoria Fellow.
Frequently Asked Questions
the report be made public?
report was delivered to the Minister for Climate Change, Environment and Water
on 31 March 2016.
What is the independent Inquiry into the EPA?
independent Inquiry into the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is being
conducted by a three-person Ministerial Advisory Committee (MAC) which has been
established by the Hon. Lisa Neville MP, Minister for Environment, Climate
Change and Water.
Inquiry will examine and review the role, powers and tools, governance
arrangements and resourcing of the state's environmental regulator, the EPA.
Why does the EPA need to be reviewed?
the EPA began operating in 1971, Victoria's population and economy have grown
and changed creating new and different environmental challenges for the
community and new tasks for the EPA.
population is expected to reach 10 million by 2051. The independent Inquiry
into the EPA will consider how best the EPA can protect public health and the
environment now and for future generations, and combine this environmental
protection role with the requirements of economic sustainability and jobs
What will the Inquiry examine?
scope of the Inquiry is set out in the Terms
of Reference, issued by the Minister for
Environment, Climate Change and Water. The Terms of Reference focus on
examining seven key areas listed in order of priority:
- the EPA's appropriate role in
relation to public health issues, including at least: community concerns
such as exposure to asbestos, chemicals and other pollutants; the
prevention and management of site contamination, air quality, and water
quality in rivers and other waterways;
- the Victorian community's and
industry's expectations of the EPA as its environmental regulator;
- the EPA's appropriate role in
protecting the environment;
- the ability of the EPA to ensure
that the principle of environmental justice is adhered to, the environment
is protected for the benefit of the community, and members of the
community can be meaningfully involved in, and access fair treatment
through, environmental regulation;
- the ability of the EPA's current
governance structures and funding arrangements to enable it to effectively
and efficiently discharge its powers, perform its duties and implement its
- the scope and adequacy of the EPA's
statutory powers, and the effectiveness and efficiency of the suite of
tools available to and utilised by the EPA, in enabling protection of the
Victorian community and the environment, particularly in light of recent,
new and emerging risks and issues; and
- any other matter reasonably
incidental to these above matters.
Advisory Committee is also directed to:
- consider the best way to combine
environmental protection with economic viability and growing sustainable
jobs in Victoria, including through improving regulatory efficiency and
minimising regulatory burden; and
- seek the views of the community,
industry and workers in related industries, local government and Victorian
government agencies, as well as those of other relevant stakeholders.
Victorian Government's response to the State of the Environment Report
2013 (released in May 2015) also stated that: "The public Inquiry into the
EPA will also consider the EPA's role in regulating greenhouse gas emissions.
Who is conducting the Inquiry?
Inquiry is being conducted by a three-person Ministerial Advisory Committee
(MAC), appointed by the Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water.
MAC members have been appointed from outside government. They are highly
experienced senior executives with experience in both the public and private
sectors. They possess extensive government, regulatory, industry and
environmental expertise. The members have been appointed as individuals on the
basis of skills and expertise, not as representatives of any organisation or
MAC members are:
- Penny Armytage (Chair)
- Jane Brockington (Deputy Chair)
- Janice van Reyk
small secretariat is supporting the MAC in an independent capacity.
views and recommendations in the final report of the Inquiry will be those of
Will the Inquiry be investigating the EPA's decisions on specific
sites or in relation to specific incidents?
Inquiry is forward-looking and is not charged with investigating or
adjudicating any specific site issues, problems or complaints, including those
relating to EPA statutory decisions. The Inquiry may examine case studies where
these are indicative or illustrative of systemic issues but recommendations
will be framed in general rather than site-specific terms.
Inquiry will not involve formal public hearings and taking of evidence. A
record will be kept of issues raised in public consultation processes for the
purposes of informing the preparation of the final report and recommendations.