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Victorians learn history of their property via online tool

A new online tool was recently launched to help Victorians identify and investigate the quality of land and groundwater on their properties.

According to a recent press release, the Victoria Unearthed website by the Andrews Labor Government will help property owners identify past uses of their land, thereby helping them to understand the history of the site better.

Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio explained that they are making sure that Victorians are better protected than ever before from issues such as contamination.

This website will help people know the real story about what is underneath their properties, with handy information right at their fingertips.

Interested Victorians would just need to enter an address, suburb, town or area into the searchable map access information related to potential historical or existing contamination for that address.

Learn more about what’s underneath

Victoria Unearthed is a tool that allows access to past and present information about historical businesses, potential land and groundwater contamination, and information about contamination management and clean-up activities.

The website includes data and information that has been brought together in one place for the first time.

The following information can be found on the first release of the website:

  1. EPA Environmental Audits and Environmental Audits Overlays

Victorians can see areas that are covered by Environmental Audits Overlays and find some locations that have EPA Environmental Audit reports.

  1. Groundwater restrictions

Areas that have been affected by groundwater pollution and are designated Groundwater Quality Restricted Use Zones can be seen on the site.

Further investigation will be required to determine the precise condition of the land or groundwater on each site.

  1. Landfills

Information about suitably verified landfills as well as the types of waste deposited can also be checked.

  1. Historical business listings

There are over 160,000 historical business listings from directories dating back to the 1890s that are also found on the website.

This information is digitised for the first time from hard copies that are preserved by the State Library Victoria.

Aside from being a valuable resource for historians, these historical business listings from old phone books can help Victorians understand more about potential contamination risks posed by past business activities.

Future Plans

The Victoria Unearthed website is part of the Victorian Government’s record A$ 182.4 million investment to overhaul the state’s Environment Protection Authority (EPA).

The overhaul includes stronger powers for the environmental regulator and initiatives like the Preliminary Risk Screen pilot.

This is testing a faster, more cost-effective approach to assessing sites that have a low to medium potential for contamination.

More datasets will be added to Victoria Unearthed over time to provide further information about potential contamination.

This will be an opportunity to add more information about potential contamination over time.


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