Healthy Environment, Healthy Community, Healthy Business

Environment Protection Authority

Virtual reality training facility visits Narrabri

Media release: 10 May 2017

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) showcased Australia’s first mobile virtual reality training facility to stakeholders in Narrabri this week.

NSW EPA Executive Director in charge of the EPA training unit Sarah Gardner said the EPA was a leader in this innovative approach, with the training theatre being the only one of its type in Australia which can be easily packed up and transported.

“The 6 metre X 2.6 metre igloo will be used to provide an interactive virtual training experience in a wide range of areas including simulating incident management, environmental pollution scenarios and gas regulation,” Mrs Gardner said.

“It allows safer, more effective training and practice for dangerous and inaccessible scenarios which EPA staff are involved in across the state, such as roadside hazardous chemical spills and water pollution incidents.

“The theatre will travel around the state, not just to train EPA officers but we’ll be able to share the experience with the EPA’s partners, including other government agencies and even show the communities where the EPA is working.”

The first training modules that the EPA has developed for the training theatre are in gas regulation including an introduction to coal seam gas regulation and groundwater hydrogeology, monitoring and pollutants.

“EPA officers will be virtually transported thousands of kilometres away and hundreds of metres below the surface at the click of a button to study everything from well construction and integrity, and groundwater flow dynamics including potential pollution pathways in groundwater.

“We are currently liaising with other government departments to talk about their training needs and planning the next modules for development.

“The EPA is committed to delivering consistent, transparent and credible regulation of the state’s industry and this facility will help us to achieve that,” Mrs Gardner said.

The EPA collaborated with Aspect Studios from Australia and UK-based tech company Igloo on the state-of-the-art software.



Contact: Public Affairs

Page last updated: 10 May 2017