_Changes for Potentially Contaminated Land
While a responsible authority has always had the discretion to require an applicant to demonstrate that land is not potentially contaminated irrespective of whether an Environmental Audit Overlay applies, the Victorian Planning Provisions have been strengthened to require that the responsible authority in all cases, MUST assess whether land has been potentially contaminated when a sensitive (typically residential or education) type of land use is proposed.
As shown in the table below, depending on whether land is assessed as having a ‘high’ or ‘medium’ potential for contamination based on previous land uses, either an Environmental Audit (EA) or a Preliminary Risk Screen Assessment (PRSA) will be required. We note that a PRSA is a new requirement and must be prepared by an environmental expert.
For other less sensitive land uses, such as open space and retail, if the land is assessed as having a ‘high’ potential for contamination, a Preliminary Site Investigation (PSI) will be required.
The changes have resulted in the creation of a public register that will allow copies of any future EA or PRSA that is prepared to be obtained from the Environmental Protection Authority website. Another useful source of information is the online tool is Victoria Unearthed https://mapshare.vic.gov.au/victoriaunearthed/ which provides a history of previous land uses.