12 Apostles works approval application accepted

EPA has granted a works approval to 12 Apostles Hot Springs P/L to construct onsite waste water treatment plants that would service a proposed geothermal hot springs project on Booringa Road, Princetown.

This application is now complete and this page will not be updated again.

Previous updates

12 Apostles Hot Springs P/L is proposing a geothermal hot springs project located near the 12 Apostles at Lot 2, 172 Booringa Road, Princetown. The works approval application is for the treatment of its wastewater from sewage and spas.

The company will host a drop-in information session on the proposal, with EPA attending, at Port Campbell Art Space, 50 Lord Street, Port Campbell on Thursday 14 June between 2 pm and 5 pm.

The site is proposed to consist of a new hot springs and spa resort located on 78.60 ha of land, a former dairy farm. The company hopes to have spas and 30 rooms of accommodation by 2020, with a view to expanding to 150 rooms by 2026.

12 Apostles Hot Springs requires an EPA works approval for wastewater treatment plants at the site, as it will not be connected to existing sewerage infrastructure in the area.

The treatment plants will independently treat two separate streams of wastewater. One is from the toilets, spa and laundry (with a peak flowrate of 72 kL per day) and the other is backwash water from spas (40 kL per day). Wastewater would be discharged in onsite irrigation systems: a commercial, enclosed plant watering system, irrigation to paddocks and irrigation of a nursery.

EPA is assessing whether there would be any impacts on local groundwater or on soil from the treatment plants, since the treated wastewater will be used for irrigation and not taken offsite. If the application is approved, the systems may need to be licensed by EPA, depending on final flow rates.

The proposal has a council planning permit. The works approval application was formally accepted on 7 May 2018.


On 7 May 2018, EPA Victoria received a works approval application for onsite waste water treatment systems from 12 Apostles Hot Springs Pty Ltd. These systems will treat waste water generated by a proposed hot springs spa and accommodation resort in at Lot 2, 172 Booringa Rd, Princetown VIC. Treated water will be reused onsite for irrigation purposes.

The proposed resort will consist of a new hot springs and spa resort located on 78.60 ha of land, a former dairy farm. The company hopes to have spas and 30 rooms of accommodation by 2020, with a view to expanding to 150 rooms by 2026.

12 Apostles Hot Springs requires an EPA works approval for wastewater treatment plants at the site, as they will not be connected to sewerage infrastructure.

The treatment plants will independently treat two separate streams of wastewater. One is from the toilets, spa and laundry (with a peak flowrate of 72 kL per day) and the other is backwash water from spas (40 kL per day). Wastewater would be reused in onsite irrigation systems: a commercial, enclosed plant watering system, irrigation to paddocks and irrigation of a nursery.

EPA is assessing whether there would be any impacts on local groundwater or on soil from the treatment plants, since the treated wastewater will be used for irrigation and not taken offsite. If the application is approved, the systems may need to be licensed by EPA, depending on final flow rates.

The works approval application was formally accepted by EPA on 7 May 2018.

A works approval is a statutory approval issued by EPA. It permits, subject to certain conditions, the construction of a plant (such as an industrial facility), installation of equipment or modification of a process.

Approval is required for industrial and waste management works that may result in any of the following:

  • discharge of waste into the environment (air, water or land)
  • an increase in, or alteration to, an existing discharge
  • a change in the way waste is treated or stored.

Our works approval process is designed to ensure the best and most cost-effective environmental outcomes on projects are achieved. Without works approvals there is an increased risk of industrial projects causing pollution and requiring expensive retrofitting. Works approvals are an opportunity to save energy and water, and to reduce waste at the project design stage, creating value for a business.

Public participation is an important principle of the Environment Protection Act 1970 and the works approval process. Accordingly, we invite the public to comment on works approval applications and some types of licence applications over a set consultation period.

We consider all such comments during our assessment of these applications. Applications are also referred to other relevant agencies for their review and advice.

The works approval process is designed to identify any community concerns early on and allow prompt resolution. If comments are received from any third parties, we give applicants an opportunity to address the concerns raised. We may also convene a conference of the parties to assist in resolving those concerns.

We complete our assessment taking into account our own technical appraisals, referral agency responses, public comments received and any applicant responses. We will then decide whether to issue a works approval and whether to attach any conditions to the approval.

The Environment Protection Act requires us to make a decision on works approval applications within four months of receiving a complete application, although we aim to complete our determination in three months. We may request further information from the applicant during the process or require an extension of time to complete the assessment.

If an appeal, by the applicant or affected third parties, is made against a works approval decision and/or any conditions attached to a works approval, the appeal will be heard by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

When a works approval has been issued, the applicant must construct the works in accordance with the approved plans and any conditions (which include a completion date for all works). When the works are complete, the applicant must contact EPA to arrange an inspection of them.

In most cases, a licence will then be required for operation of the works. Where appropriate, we will issue a commissioning approval before the licence, to allow startup and testing of initial operations and to confirm compliance with the works approval.

Further information on works approvals and EPA’s works approval process can be found in EPA works approvals (publication 1523).

The proposal for the resort has a council planning permit from Corangamite Shire Council.

Wannon Water and Southern Rural Water have reviewed the waste water treatment and irrigation plan in the works approval and found them to be acceptable.

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Corangamite Catchment Management Authority and Parks Victoria will provide comment on the works approval application.

Comment on the application

Use this form to comment on the application, or email your comment to the address under ‘Contact us’ on this page, by 21 June 2018. If you want to be notified if the works approval is approved, let us know in your submission.
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