Brimbank council is calling on the state government to continue funding a program that is helping oversee environmental issues in the west.
The government introduced the $4.8 million Officers for the Protection of the Local Environment (OPLE) program last year, with Environment Protection Authority Victoria officers appointed to 13 councils across the state.
But funding for the pilot program is set to cease in December.
Brimbank mayor Margaret Giudice said it was vital for Brimbank that the program be extended.
“In the months since the OPLE program has been active for Brimbank, the OPLE officer has been making headway in investigating smaller-scale environmental issues and has issued multiple clean-up notices to businesses,” Cr Giudice said.
Brimbank shares an officer with Hobsons Bay council.
“We’ve had a delayed start in Brimbank as the OPLE officer we share with Hobsons Bay only became an authorised officer of the EPA in January, 2018, after intensive EPA training and assessment,” Cr Giudice said.
“We’re concerned that our municipality will not get the full benefits of the OPLE work program unless the program continues beyond the initial 15-month period.”