The Victorian Government has completed a draft review of its State Environment Protection Policies (SEPPs) for water, established under the Environment Protection Act 1970.
The two existing SEPPs for water in Victoria are:
the State Environment Protection Policy (Waters of Victoria), including five catchment specific schedules: Gippsland Lakes and Catchment; Waters of the Latrobe and Thomson River Basins and Merriman Creek Catchment; Waters of Port Phillip Bay; Waters of the Yarra Catchment; Waters of Western Port and Catchment; and
the State Environment Protection Policy (Groundwaters of Victoria).
The draft review, which is open for public consultation until 19 June,
brings together surface water and groundwater into one document
removes repeated obligations contained in other legislation
introduces a geothermal beneficial use
increases recognition of Traditional Owners and Aboriginal Victorians values
removes general roles, partnerships or programs into a separate implementation plan
provides a consistent suite of environmental quality indicators across rivers, streams and marine water segments
revises and updates environmental quality indicators and objectives based on relevant national and international standards and guidance
includes new indicators and objectives for sediment toxicology, marine biological indicators and for wetlands
puts roles and responsibilities into individual clauses for clarity.