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This audit examined the effectiveness and efficiency of the long-term water quality monitoring of Victoria’s waterways and bays. It examined the actions taken by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) to address the issues it identified in its 2015 internal audit of its water quality monitoring network. Specifically, it examined long-term water quality monitoring programs conducted across the Port Phillip and Western Port region by Melbourne Water, the Environment Protection Authority and DELWP.

This audit found that while individual long-term programs are generally well planned and implemented across the Port Phillip and Western Port region, they operate in isolation rather than as an organised and coordinated network of programs designed to collectively meet statewide policy objectives. This is mainly a result of past poor coordination between the three responsible agencies, and the fact that there is no lead agency assigned to ensure a formalised cooperative approach to program planning, data use, reporting and evaluation across the region. We also found that DELWP developed a comprehensive action plan to address the recommendations of its 2015 internal audit and has effectively implemented the majority of actions.

Encouragingly, the audited agencies worked collaboratively throughout this audit to identify and commence implementation of a range of individual and coordinated actions to address the issues identified by this audit.

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