The data in Victoria Unearthed comes from a range of existing sources.
*IMPORTANT NOTE: From 1 July 2021 some EPA data has changed due to new legislation:
- Data on new sites with Environmental Audits, Licenced Sites and Priority Sites (notices) under the Environment Protection Act 2017 after 1 July 2021 is not currently available in Victoria Unearthed.
- Information on new audits and permissions (including licences) issued under the Environment Protection Act 2017 is available on the EPA public registers
- The current Priority Sites Register is available on the EPA website
EPA and DELWP are working to incorporate new EPA data in Victoria Unearthed.
The various datasets in Victoria Unearthed have different degrees of accuracy and reliability.
The Priority Sites Register (PSR) is a list of sites that have been issued with a clean-up notice or a pollution abatement notice. It is not a listing of all contaminated sites in Victoria, nor is it a list of all contaminated sites of which EPA has knowledge. Once a site has complied with notices it is removed from the PSR and Victoria Unearthed. It can take up to two months for a site to appear on the PSR after a notice has been issued, or to be taken off the PSR after it has complied with notices. The PSR is updated monthly and the information on it may not be accurate, current or complete.
EPA Licences are issued from EPA’s statutory activities and the information in this layer is accurate, reliable and updated on a regular basis by EPA Victoria.
The Victorian Landfill Register (VLR) was created by EPA in 2018. At its first release, the VLR dataset only included information about landfills that could be suitably verified. If EPA could not validate details of a suspected landfill site, this site was not included in the VLR at this first release.
Environmental Audit Overlays, Groundwater Quality Restricted Use Zones (GQRUZs) and EPA Environmental Audits are a snapshot of information at a certain point in time and do not establish current contamination. Further, although EPA maintains a list of all sites with a completed environmental audit, for a number of reasons not all audit reports are visible on Victoria Unearthed. Some GQRUZs and audits that were applied between 2007 and 1 January 2014 may not have their corresponding environmental audit reports linked to them in Victoria Unearthed. This is because these reports were developed under a different system and are held manually by EPA. These can be obtained by calling EPA on 1300 372 842 and requesting a copy of the report.
The Historical Business Listings from the old Sands & McDougall directories are a record of historical business locations in Victoria. These directories have presented particular challenges regarding data accuracy as Victoria's street names and numbers may have changed drastically over the past century, and so has the way we record information.
A business record is not necessarily evidence of business activity having historically occurred at that location. Historical business information in the directories can, for example, indicate the head office of a manufacturing business rather than the address of the factory floor.
The location of Historical Business Listings data points on the Victoria Unearthed map can differ in accuracy. In many regional and suburban areas, the business address listed in the Sands & McDougall directories only indicates a town or suburb, and does not include a street name or street number.
There may also be some errors in the data that occurred in the transfer from hardcopy to digital, and also in geocoding the data to display in the Victoria Unearthed map.
Over half a million historical business records have been geocoded by an automated process for Victoria Unearthed. Many of these records have been manually checked and verified, to ensure the correct location on the map. However, many still remain unverified and may be located incorrectly in Victoria Unearthed.
The original records are old and may themselves have been inaccurate, incomplete or both. For example, not all businesses would have had their information published in the Historical Business Listings (Sands & McDougall directories).
Further details about each dataset are available via the links below.
Please see the following pages for more information, including details regarding accuracy, reliability and limitations:
Page last updated: 10/12/21