Morning Star Gold NL operate a gold mine in Woods Point, north-east of Melbourne.

In October 2018, Morning Star Gold installed a modified wastewater treatment plant.

Under the Environment Protection (Scheduled Premises) Regulations 2017, a works approval application is required before work commences on a wastewater treatment plant.

Morning Star Gold have applied for a long-route licence, under section 20(8) of the Environment Protection Act 1970, where a works approval was required but was not obtained. Morning Star Gold are currently operating the wastewater treatment plant under a section 30A approval issued by EPA.

The proposed licence will allow for the permanent discharge of treated wastewater to Morning Star Creek.

Latest update

On 19 March 2020, EPA approved the licence with conditions. A copy of the assessment report is available in the supporting documents section of this page.

Previous updates

After a site visit, EPA and Morning star negotiated an extension to the decision due date through a 67a agreement. The revised decision date is now 28 February 2020.

A response to the section 22 notice was received from Morning Star on 6 November 2019 and is now under assessment. EPA visited the site to discuss the Section 22 response and inspect the water treatment plant on 21 January 2020. The statutory due date for a decision is now 28 February 2020. The response to the Section 22 notice from Morning Star can be viewed in the ‘Supporting documents’ section.

On 23 July 2019 EPA issued Morning Star with a notice under section 22 of the Environment Protection Act 1970 to supply further information.

The notice required Morning star to provide a formal response to the following matters:

flow data

the proposed arsenic and other metal limits in the discharge

information on suspended solids and turbidity

technical information on the plant

a Public Health Risk Assessment.

The notice included a due date of 2 August. As the applicant is yet to provide a response, the assessment ‘statutory clock’ has paused until the information is supplied. Once EPA receives a response to the notice it will be made available on this webpage. You can view the section 22 notice and submissions in the 'Supporting documents' section.

A long-route licence is a statutory approval issued by EPA following completion of works where a works approval was required but was not obtained. A licence is required as determined by the Environment Protection (Scheduled Premises) Regulations 2017.

The assessment of a long-route licence application follows the same process as a works approval assessment. At the end of the assessment, the applicant will receive a licence allowing them to operate a scheduled activity subject to certain conditions.

For further information on works approvals and EPA’s works approval process, refer to EPA works approvals (publication 1523).

The Environment Protection Act 1970 requires us to make a decision on a long-route licence within six months of receiving a complete application. We may request further information from the applicant during the process or require an extension of time to complete the assessment.