Overview

On 23 October 2019, EPA received a works approval application from Great Southern Waste Technologies Pty Ltd (GSWT).

The application proposes development of a waste-to-energy facility. The facility would process 100,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste (MSW) and commercial and industrial waste (C&I) per year.

The proposed facility would be located at 70 Ordish Road, Dandenong South, VIC 3175.

A copy of the works approval application (number 1003592) can be viewed in the ‘Supporting documents’ section of this page.

For more information on the works approval process see EPA publication 1523.2 EPA works approvals.


Latest update

VCAT appeal

Following EPA's issue of a works approval to Great Southern Waste Technologies Pty Ltd, an application for review of the decision was lodged with the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).

EPA notes the VCAT hearing process is established and controlled by VCAT – EPA does not set timeframes or requirements for VCAT reviews.


Non-technical summary report now available

This can be viewed in the 'Supporting documents' section on this page.

Works approval issued

EPA has issued a works approval for the Great Southern Waste Technologies waste to energy project.

The works approval is for the development of a modular gasification waste-to-energy facility which will process 100,000 tonnes/year (+/- 10%) of source separated municipal solid waste (MSW) and Commercial & Industrial waste. The MSW will be sourced from council kerbside collections in metropolitan Melbourne.

EPA received 79 submissions during the public comment period. Another 36 submissions were received during a second comment period.

A community conference was also held to allow EPA to listen to submissions and consider options for resolution of concerns. The Independent Conference Chair made a number of recommendations and EPA has considered each of these as part of its assessment.

EPA values the input from the community of south eastern and metropolitan Melbourne into our assessment processes.

The works approval and assessment report are available to view under the 'Supporting documents' section of this page.

If you object to the issuing of the works approval or its conditions, you may have the decision reviewed by applying in writing within 21 days of the date of issue to:

Registrar, Planning and Environment Division
Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT)
7th Floor, 55 King Street, Melbourne

An application fee may be applicable when lodging an appeal with VCAT.

Contact VCAT on 03 9628 9777 for further details on fees associated with an appeal. A copy of the appeal should also be forwarded, within seven days of lodgement, to:

Manager, Development Assessments Unit
Environment Protection Authority Victoria
GPO Box 4395, Melbourne 3001

EPA’s assessment

GSWT completed an air quality impact assessment and human health risk assessment in its application. EPA has assessed these, and the proposed air emission pollution controls proposed for the facility.

EPA has also considered an independent literature review of publicly available research on human health impacts form air emissions from modern waste to energy facilities. The review of literature concluded that there was little potential for health impacts or risk from the exposure to emissions from modern waste to energy facilities.

  • EPA Publication 1718 ‘A review of the scientific literature on potential health effects in local communities associated with air emissions from Waste to Energy facilities’.

EPA has determined the proposed air emission pollution controls are consistent with international best practice standards of the European Union, complies with relevant regulations and state environment protection policies, and considers the potential air emissions from the facility pose negligible risk to human health.

The works approval includes conditions requiring the facility to be designed to achieve strict and the most up-to-date air emission limits. This also includes requirement for the air emission pollution controls to be upgradable to meet stricter emission limits in the future.

The works approval also includes a condition requiring an updated air quality impact assessment and human health risk assessment at the detailed design phase of the project. EPA will review these again before works start on the facility.

EPA has assessed the suitability of the proposed odour and noise pollution controls and determined they are consistent with international best practice standards of the European Union, complies with relevant regulations and state environment protection policies and considers the potential of odour and noise emission to pose minimal risk beyond the site boundary.

The works approval includes conditions requiring reports demonstrating the use of best practice systems at the detailed design phase of the project. EPA will review these again before works start on the facility.

EPA has assessed the suitability of the separation distances from the facility to nearest residences, community centres, and schools. EPA has considered the air, odour, and human health assessments detailed in the application and has determined that the proposed separation distances are adequate for the facility. EPA also notes the site is:

  • within an area identified as the state-significant Southern Industrial Precinct under Plan Melbourne 2017-2050
  • within an area identified as the Ordish Road Precinct Hub of State Importance under the Statewide Waste and Resource Recovery Infrastructure Plan
  • within an area subject to the Ordish Road Precinct Waste and Resource Recovery Hub Plan

The works approval includes conditions requiring the public reporting of monitoring results on an accessible website. This includes:

  • Reporting of continuous emission monitoring results
  • Reporting of residual ash waste monitoring results
  • Reporting of daily compliance status of air emissions against licence limits

GSWT will also need to prepare a community engagement and complaints response plan.

EPA has assessed the management and potential impacts of waste transport, storage, thermal treatment, and disposal or reuse of waste at the facility. EPA has determined that the application proposes management of waste in accordance with international best practice standards of the European Union, complies with relevant regulations and state environment protection policies and poses negligible risk to the community.

The works approval will limit the maximum amount of waste stored at the premises at any one time. The works approval also includes conditions requiring all waste to be managed with fit-for-purpose environmental controls.

EPA has assessed, energy efficiency, management of greenhouse gas emissions and resource recovery detailed in the application. EPA has determined that the application proposes energy efficiency and management of greenhouse gas emissions in accordance with international best practice standards of the European Union, and complies with relevant regulations and state environment protection policies.

The works approval will limit the facility to accepting only residual waste currently going to landfill. This includes conditions requiring ongoing investigation of options for more resource recovery from waste accepted at the facility.

EPA has also instructed GSWT that they must have an EPA-appointed industrial facilities auditor (or alternative expert approved by EPA) conduct the following:

  • Verification of the final detailed design to provide assurance that it meets the performance criteria specified in the works approval application.
  • Verification the facility has been constructed in accordance with the works approval application and conditions of the works approval.

EPA will not allow the company to commence works on the facility until it has endorsed the auditor’s verification of the detailed design.

EPA will also not allow the company to operate the facility until it has endorsed the auditor’s verification of the construction stage.

Previous updates

GSWT comments can be viewed in the 'Supporting documents' section on this page.

EPA invited interested parties to comment on the new information.

Submissions closed 4 June 2020.

Public submissions are now available to view in the 'Supporting documents' section on this page.

On 11 February 2020, EPA issued GSWT with a notice under section 22 of the Environment Protection Act 1970 to supply further technical and process information.

GSWT has provided its response to this notice and the information is now available under the ‘Supporting documents’ section of this page.

EPA is now currently due to make its decision on the application by late June.

EPA hosted a community conference on 03 March to discuss public submissions about the application.

The conference was independently chaired. The chair prepared a conference report, including recommendations to EPA Victoria for consideration in its assessment of the works approval application.

The conference report is now available in the supporting documents section of this page.

EPA hosted a Section 20B community conference on 03 March to discuss public submissions about the application.

The purpose of the conference was to:

  • enable the EPA to listen to, and better understand, the views and concerns of the community and stakeholders,
  • help explain the works approval application, the assessment process and current status,
  • discuss ideas about possible conditions if the works approval is issued.

The conference was independently chaired.

The chair will prepare a conference report, including recommendations to EPA Victoria for consideration in its assessment of the works approval application.

Once prepared, the report will made available in the supporting documents section of this page.

Copies of the materials presented at the conference are available in the supporting documents section of this page.

GSWT have agreed to an extension of the assessment period under Section 67A of the Environment Protection Act 1970.

The decision date is now 17 April 2020. This provides EPA more time to assess the works approval application.

EPA issued Great Southern Waste Technologies Pty Ltd (GSWT) with a notice under section 22 of the Environment Protection Act 1970 to supply further technical and process information by 02 March 2020. The section 22 notice can be found in the ‘Supporting documents’ section on this page.

Submissions are now closed for this works approval. There were 79 submissions made as well as 2 petitions containing numerous signatures. All submissions and petitions are now available to view in the 'Supporting documents' section on this page.

GSWT hosted a drop-in information session on 11 December. The materials from the night are now available in the 'Supporting documents' section on this page.