Midfield’s works approval application
Midfield Meat Processing P/L (Midfield) is proposing to install a new protein recovery plant (PRP) at its existing abattoir at 24 Scott Street, Warrnambool.
Midfield currently operates an inedible meat PRP at 165 Swinton Street, Levys Point, Warrnambool, producing animal protein and tallow products for the Australian domestic and export stockfeed, fertiliser and oleic industries. Its EPA licence allows discharge of treated wastewater to land.
Midfield has assessed that the existing PRP requires a significant upgrade of its onsite wastewater treatment plant and connection to trade waste. It has determined that the longterm solution for continuing processing activities is to cease operations at the Levys Point site and construct a new PRP at the Scott St abattoir site.
Hardcopy of the works approval application can be viewed at Warrnambool City Council, 25 Liebig Street, Warrnambool.
The application for planning permit is on Warrnambool City Council’s website:
To enquire about the works approval application, email:
EPA will make a decision by 23 January 2019.
Midfield Meat Processing P/L proposes to construct a new protein recovery plant at 24 Scott Street, Warrnambool, where its existing abbatoir is located. The existing protein recovery plant at 165 Swinton Street will cease operation.
The abattoir has operated at the premises since the 1980s. The existing PRP has been in operation since 1965.
Sensitive land uses around the abattoir site include a residential zone and a primary school, about 250m and 400m to the southwest, respectively.
The proposed installations will include two processing lines with daily throughput rate of 400 tonnes and a purpose-built biofilter. Wastewater from the PRP and abattoir will be combined and pretreated at the recently upgraded onsite wastewater treatment facility prior to discharging to the sewer.
Processing will be carried out in an enclosed building. Normal operating hours will be between 7pm and 12 midnight on weekdays and 1–5pm on Saturdays, but the proposed plant will have the capacity to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week during non-routine operation, if required.
The proposal seeks to improve energy efficiency, reduce transport movements and water consumption and eliminate amenity impacts when compared with the existing Swinton St facility.
Key environmental issues are odour emission control and Q-fever risk management, particularly considering the proximity to the sensitive users (residential zones and a school). Other issues are stormwater management and noise controls.
The Authority will assess whether the proposal will comply with the Environment Protection Act 1970 and relevant SEPPs to protect the environment and public health.
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).
A planning permit application has been concurrently submitted to Warrnambool City Council and is currently under consideration.
EPA issued a Section 22 notice to Midfield on 17 September 2018, requesting further information and/or clarification on the proposed odour treatment technology and management.
EPA received 15 submissions relating to this Works Approval application, which you can download and read from the supporting documents on this page.
EPA held a public meeting, known as a Section 20B Conference, on 7 November 2018 at Warrnambool Golf Club.
The purpose of the conference was:
- for EPA to gain a better understanding of community concerns and issues that need to be considered
- to identify potential resolutions for the application.
The meeting was independently chaired to ensure EPA understands the views of the community regarding this works approval application.
The independent chair has prepared a report (available here) detailing community concerns raised in the submissions and at the meeting with recommended solutions.
Midfield Meats has considered these recommendations and, in response, published a report of its own (available here).