Meatworks Australia’s works approval application

Submission period closed

The comment period for this works approval has now closed. EPA received 16 submissions.

EPA has issued Meatworks Australia with a notice to supply further information. This notice required Meatworks Australia to provide a formal response to the submissions received by 15 July. As the due date has passed, the 'statutory clock' on this application paused.

The section 22 notice, and the 16 submissions received, can be viewed in the ‘Supporting documents' section of this page.

Per EPA's works approval assessments (publication 1523.2), "EPA can request further information under section 22 of EP Act. Assessment timeline is 'paused' if applicant does not provide the requested information within the timeframe given by EPA". The date for this works approval assessment has been pushed back until an acceptable application is received.

Previous updates

EI Group Consulting Project Management P/L (EI Group), trading as Meatworks Australia P/L (Meatworks Australia) is proposing to construct a new abattoir at 630 Lancaster–Mooroopna Road, Gillieston (the premises). Agricultural activities have been historically performed at the premises including dairy, pasture and fodder cropping.

EPA is assessing this works approval application, while Greater Shepparton City Council (GSCC) is assessing the planning permit application.

The abattoir will be capable of processing 3000 head per day of sheep within a fully enclosed series of buildings. The proposed activities will be carried out over 12 hours per day, 5-6 days a week with a period of shut-down for maintenance.

The major elements of the project that trigger works approval and licensing include:

  • meat processing operations (3000 sheep/day throughput),
  • factory wastewater treatment and storage ponds producing secondary treated recycled water (~0.52 ML/D or ~130ML/Yr),
  • sewage treatment plant for office and worker amenities (~5-10 kL/D),
  • recycled water beneficial use onsite across ~120 Ha of existing flood irrigation area.

Should the works be approved, the premises will be scheduled as D01 – Abattoirs.

The proposed wastewater generated at the premises will be treated to Class C and irrigated across pasture.

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.

During this consultation period, we may hold public open-house information sessions to explain the works approval process and provide information on the works approval application. 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).

A planning permit is also required before the works can commence construction. An application has been concurrently submitted to the Greater Shepparton City Council and is under consideration.

During the public comment period interested parties wishing to comment on the works approval application and/or the planning permit application are invited to make a written submission or objection by 5:00pm on 12 June 2019. You may comment on both the works approval and planning permit applications in the same submission or objection.

Submissions or objections should be sent to Greater Shepparton City Council via the Council’s website or by mail to Locked Bag 1000, Shepparton Vic 3632. Submissions or objections must include the name and address of the person making the submission or objection. Reasons for the objection and how the objector would be affected must also be detailed.

Submitters may request in writing to be notified if the works approval is issued.

Date: 31 July 2019

Time: 5–8 pm (registration 5–5.15 pm)
Venue: Greater Shepparton City Council offices, 90 Welsford St, Shepparton

You can find the agenda for the community conference in the 'Supporting documents' section on this page.

Registration for attendance is essential – please RSVP via email or by phone 1300 EPA VIC (1300 372 842).

The purpose of the conference is to:

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

The conference will be independently chaired and an independent report will be prepared following the conference, including recommendations to EPA Victoria for consideration in its assessment of the works approval application.

Please note that no final decision regarding the works approval application will be made at the conference.