26 September 2023

Dangerous goods laws to be reviewed

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The Minister for Workplace Safety has announced a comprehensive review of the State’s danger goods laws aimed at stamping out unsafe chemical stockpiling in a bid to keep Victorians safe.

The Minister, Jill Hennessy said barrister Andrew Palmer would conduct the review of the Dangerous Goods Act 1985 and its associated regulations.

“We know that the unsafe storing, handling or disposal of dangerous chemicals poses a real threat to local communities,” Ms Hennessy said.”

“This review will make sure dangerous goods laws remain effective and keep Victorian’s safe.”

She said the review was the latest step in an ongoing response to chemical stockpiling which followed two large chemical fires in West Footscray in August 2018 and Campbellfield in April 2019

She said that immediately following the 2018 fire, WorkSafe led a blitz on industrial premises to ensure dangerous chemicals were being stored correctly.

Government agency investigations led to the discovery of waste chemicals stockpiled at 13 sites in Melbourne’s north last year.

Ms Hennessy said a WorkSafe-led taskforce had already removed more than 13 million litres of stockpiled waste chemicals.

She said a review of the Act was important to ensure it was up to the task of protecting the community from the unacceptable risk that stockpiling of dangerous goods poses, and to deal with those who do it.

Ms Hennessy said the final report was expected to be delivered next year with opportunities for public comment and stakeholder engagement later this year.

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