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).
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 inquiries.
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.
Will the report be made public?
The report was delivered to the Minister for Climate Change, Environment and Water on 31 March 2016.
What is the independent Inquiry into the EPA?
The 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.
The 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?
Since 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.
Victoria's 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 growth.
What will the Inquiry examine?
The 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 Advisory Committee is also directed to:
The 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?
The Inquiry is being conducted by a three-person Ministerial Advisory Committee (MAC), appointed by the Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water.
The 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 sector.
The MAC members are:
A small secretariat is supporting the MAC in an independent capacity.
The views and recommendations in the final report of the Inquiry will be those of the MAC.
Will the Inquiry be investigating the EPA's decisions on specific sites or in relation to specific incidents?
The 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.
The 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.
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