The Victorian State Government has recently commenced an inquiry into the operation of the Environment Protection Authority, the public body charged with protecting Victorians from dust and other pollutants.
The inquiry, chaired by Penny Armytage, will examine the current function of the EPA and whether the organisation should be strengthened with further authority and legal powers. It will also consider ways of reducing the amount of red tape currently involved in EPA investigations.
The EPA has faced criticism in recent times for its inability to appropriately investigate and prosecute regulation violations and risks to public health. A key example of this is the recent Hazelwood mine fire, where the La Trobe Valley was covered with thick smoke from a coal mine fire for over 40 days. The potential risk to residents of disease from this exposure remains unknown.
Bree Knoester, partner at Adviceline Injury Lawyers, specialises in asbestos and dust disease cases, and regularly assists workers and their families who have developed illnesses following exposure to toxins in the workplace. Bree also operates an office in Moe to provide expert legal advice to people in the La Trobe Valley.
If you or someone you know has developed a disease following exposure to dust or other toxins during your job, we invite you to speak with one of our expert injury lawyers on (03) 9321 9988.