Environment & water

Victorian councils undertake a range of activities in order to protect and enhance their local environment, to reduce energy use and emissions, and to adapt to a changing climate. Councils have important responsibilities related to the management of waste, water, native vegetation, and roadside weeds and pests.

We support council environmental activities through policy analysis, advice and advocacy, project support and management, and by building collaborative relationships with other levels of government and key stakeholders.

We recognise that:

  • we are in a state of climate emergency that requires urgent action by all levels of government, including local councils
  • human induced climate change stands in the first rank of threats to humans, civilisation and other species
  • it is still possible to restore a safe climate and prevent most of the anticipated long-term climate impacts – but only if societies across the world adopt an emergency mode of action that can enable the restructuring of the physical economy at the necessary scale and speed
  • we have a particular role in assisting local governments in this regard.

Current priorities

Our immediate priorities include:

  • supporting recycling in Victoria
  • the reforms arising out of the EPA inquiry, including the officers for the protection of the local environment (OPLE) pilot project, contaminated land and on-site domestic wastewater management
  • the State’s management of the landfill levy and Sustainability Fund
  • rural drainage reforms
  • stormwater management reform
  • State Environment Protection Policy (Waters of Victoria) review
  • marine and coastal reforms
  • climate change adaptation.

Current projects

MAV-hosted organisations

We support two local government associations that are helping grow and share environmentally sound knowledge and practice:

Submissions and briefs

We develop and form a collective local government sector view on a range of environment and water topics. These include:

To access all our environment and water-related submissions, visit the MAV submissions page.

We also prepare briefing papers for our members’ use:

Committees and reference groups

We represent local government on numerous high-level advisory and reference groups, including the:

  • Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability Reference Group
  • Stakeholder Reference Group for the Local Government - Officers for the Protection of the Local Environment  (LG OPLE) Pilot program
  • State Environment Protection Policy (Waters of Victoria) review stakeholder committee
  • Victorian Rural Drainage Interdepartmental Reference Group
  • Melbourne Water Healthy Waterways Strategy Advisory Group
  • Resilient Melbourne Integrated Water Management Support Working and Alignment Group
  • Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities Victorian Regional Advisory Panel.

We also convene a number of committees and working groups to help inform our work and build capacity within the sector, including:


Further information

Engage with us

Subscribe to our Environment Bulletin to keep informed about local government environment-related news and events.

The MAV Environmental Sustainability Group on Yammer is a forum for council officers to share ideas and collaborate on environmental issues.

For more information about our environmental policy work, contact:

Claire Dunn
Manager – Environment and Regulatory Services
(03) 9667 5533

Rosemary Hancock
Manager – Water and Public Health
(03) 9667 5520