Victoria unearthed

Being aware of potential contamination is important for protecting human health and the environment from hazardous substances in soil or groundwater.

Wednesday, 16 October 2019 at 12:25 am

Contamination can be a legacy of industrial and business activities when there was little understanding of the impact of pollution and inappropriate waste management. Victoria Unearthed was created by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) in collaboration with the Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) in response to the Independent Inquiry into the EPA, which recommended the development of a database of sites that pose a high risk to the community because of their past use.

The interactive map includes 5 key datasets from EPA Victoria: 'priority sites' with known environmental issues; sites with EPA licences; locations of current and past landfills; sites with know groundwater issues; and sites where environmental audits have been completed.

The website also includes more than half a million historical business records dating back to the 1890s, digitised for the first time as part of this project in partnership with State Library Victoria. Historical business listings from the Sands and McDougall directories (Victoria’s original 'phone books') can provide valuable clues on where past business activity may have resulted in legacy contamination. This information is also a valuable resource for historians as it provides a record of Victoria’s development.

The data included in Victoria Unearthed is also available for direct download and via web services from Spatial Datamart and DataVic.

Victoria Unearthed is a useful starting point for people wanting to find out about the potential contamination of a site. However, it isn’t intended to be a comprehensive or complete source of information. Further investigation will still be required to determine the precise condition of the land or groundwater on each site.