Member for Western Victoria
Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party

Vermiculture and the EPA

Mr GRIMLEY (Western Victoria) (12:32): (1973) My question is for the Minister for Environment and Climate Action. David Davidson is an elderly resident in western Victoria. He is a retired worm farmer and has proactively contacted the Environment Protection Authority Victoria for guidance before commencing his rural vermiculture operation, which has been broadly praised by the environmental industry and Victorian government agencies. He is considered an international expert and has spoken at several conferences. According to independent assessments his innovative operation has created no environmental harm, only good, and fits neatly within the principles of the Environment Protection Act 2017 and government policies. For over a decade he has been attempting to get clear advice from the EPA as to which regulations apply to vermiculture. Instead he has been served with an overwhelming series of confusing notices that are often contradictory from over 30 different EPA officers. His many requests for a meeting to clarify and resolve the situation have been ignored or rejected, forcing him to lodge several applications to VCAT and the Supreme Court for review, at an enormous cost to his family and taxpayers. My question is: given the vast amount of taxpayers money spent on this case, could the minister please explain how this expenditure is in line with the EPA’s obligations as a model litigant?


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