Hall & Wilcox has launched a unique online training module, ‘EnviroManage’, to help people understand how they are affected by and can comply with Victoria’s new environmental laws.
From 1 July 2021, the Environment Protection Act 2017 (Vic) significantly changes the way environmental impacts are regulated, with a new focus on risk management and on impacts to human health.
The new laws radically overhaul the way environmental risk is governed in Victoria and change the way potentially contaminated land and activities that generate pollution or handle waste must be managed. This will significantly change the way real estate transactions are handled and will require environmental management systems to be overhauled.
Partner Meg Lee said the ‘EnviroManage’ online module provides an easy way to get an overview of key changes and understand the new duties. Significantly, a General Environmental Duty (GED) now applies to all Victorians, requiring them to minimise risks to human health and the environment from activities involving pollution or waste, as far as reasonably practicable. There are significant penalties for non-compliance with the new duties.
‘These new laws require a shift in thinking for all companies to focus on environmental risk. We are really excited to launch this online market-first tool to help people navigate their new duties,’ Meg said. ‘There are significant penalties if you don’t comply. Your duty is breached even if you don’t actually cause any harm – a failure to manage the risk of harm is enough.
‘Our module will also help organisations to satisfy part of the new General Environmental Duty, which includes a requirement to provide information, instruction, supervision and training to their staff.’
‘EnviroManage’ comprises seven topics, including the new General Environmental Duty, contaminated land and waste duties as well as a new permissions framework. The module includes learning checklists to entrench understanding of each topic.
EnviroManage is another example of Hall & Wilcox’s Smarter Law approach to helping people understand and comply with their legal obligations. We use innovation to continuously improve the way we deliver legal services. We are the firm that delivers Smarter Law. Smarter Law is behind everything we do, including how we advise, protect, defend and enable our clients’ organisations in ways that actually work better for them. This involves making real client connections, understanding their legal and business challenges, and then putting our heads together with theirs to creatively get from problem to solution.
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