Greater Shepparton City Council is one of 13 Victorian councils chosen for a pilot program involving a locally-based Environment Protection Authority officer to help streamline responses to pollution and waste concerns.
Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said the program was ‘‘about delivering practical support to councils to help deliver a healthier and more liveable environment for Victorians’’.
Ms D’Ambrosio said the new officers would work with the EPA and the council to respond to smaller-scale and lower risk waste and pollution complaints.
The officers will be with local councils for 15 months from next month.
Cr Seema Abdullah was pleased at the council’s inclusion.
While she was not yet aware of measures of success in the pilot program, she was confident it would help improve response times.
Council environment manager Greg McKenzie was also pleased about the successful application, which he believed there had previously been a need for.
‘‘That’s been an issue, in trying to determine who is responsible authority when complaints came in,’’ Mr McKenzie said.
‘‘It could be anything to do with... discharges to the environment, noise, dust.
‘‘Certainly illegal dumping of rubbish ... (it’s) something I take up a bit of time (addressing).’’
He understood the officer would would work with different departments of council, including environmental health, planning, local laws and building.
He hoped the position would draw the EPA and council closer, and allow them to launch a combined approach to such issues.