The Sustainability Fund receives money collected from the Victorian Municipal and Industrial Landfill Levy (MILL). After funds are distributed by the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change to key environmental agencies including the Environment Protection Authority (EPA), Sustainability Victoria (SV) and the 7 Waste and Resource Recovery Groups, remaining revenue is transferred and held in the Sustainability Fund.

Its purpose, as defined by Section 70 of the Environment Protection Act 1970, is to:

  • foster environmentally sustainable uses of resources and best practices in waste management to advance the social and economic development of Victoria; and/or
  • foster community action or innovation in relation to the reduction of greenhouse gas substance emissions or adaptation or adjustment to climate change in Victoria.

Funding allocations are made by the Premier and the Minister in accordance with the Fund's Priority Statement and government policy.

Since its creation in 2005, the fund has supported businesses, local governments and communities through a range of waste management, recycling, resource efficiency and climate change programs.

The 2017-18 State Budget provides a record $419 million in Sustainability Fund expenditure over five years, to support better waste management, increase recycling, protect Victoria's biodiversity, and support Victoria's commitment to become a net-zero greenhouse gas emissions state by 2050.

Examples of this investment include:

The Municipal and Industrial Landfill Levy (MILL) provides a pricing incentive to increase resource recovery and divert waste from landfill. The money collected from the MILL funds some of our important environmental agencies (Environment Protection Authority, Sustainability Victoria, the 7 Waste and Resource Recovery Groups and Parks Victoria) to provide broad benefits to the Victorian community. Funds raised are used accordance with the Environment Protection Act 1970 (sections 70E and 70F).

In 2017-18 approximately $115 million will be distributed from the MILL to these agencies and remaining revenue is held in the Sustainability Fund.

The Priority Statement sets out the priorities of the Victorian Government within the legislated areas of waste management, resource recovery and climate change mitigation and adaptation, and guides how funds in the Fund are invested.

In 2010, the scope of programs that can be supported by the Sustainability Fund was broadened to include initiatives that address climate change, in recognition of the growing impact that climate change is having on Victorian communities. The original focus on encouraging resource efficiency and supporting best-practice waste management was preserved.

The Priority Statement was refreshed in 2015-16 after consulting with the Victorian community, to position Victoria as a leader in resource recovery, waste management and climate change mitigation and adaptation. The Priority Statement was also reviewed to clarify how eligible programs will be prioritised to ensure funds are applied in a way that maximises benefits for Victoria.

An additional sentence was added to the Priority Statement in 2020 to set out the administrative requirement for the Committee to provide advice to government on all budget bids seeking funds from the Sustainability Fund.

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The Fund is managed by DELWP and overseen by the Sustainability Fund Committee comprising subject matter and governance experts.

The guidelines outline how the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change and the Premier of Victoria will exercise their powers in the application of monies from the Fund.

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Page last updated: 10/09/20