Overview

Water Sustainability Farm Pty Ltd (WSF) have submitted a works approval (application number 1004341) to Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA).

WSF is proposing to construct solar drying evaporation basins and a sludge drying pad for the processing of food manufacturing by-products at Lanes Avenue, Quantong VIC. Two waste streams are proposed to be managed and treated by WSF – with on average 57,000 L/day of brine (saline waste) and up to 5 m3/day of dewatered sludge proposed to be received at the premises.

WSF proposes to concentrate the brine through solar evaporation in four drying basins. The sludge is proposed to be dried in windrows on a sludge drying pad. The dried sludge is proposed to be used locally for agricultural purposes and the super-saline waste will be disposed of the landfill post-evaporation.

A copy of the works approval application can be viewed in the ‘Supporting documents’ section.

For more information on EPA's works approval process see EPA publication 1523.2.

What does the application propose?

The company is proposing to construct solar drying evaporation basins for the processing of food manufacturing by-products at Lanes Avenue, Quantong VIC.

Two waste streams are proposed to be managed and treated by WSF – with on average 57,000 L/day of brine (saline waste) and up to 5 m3/day of dewatered sludge proposed to be received at the premises.

WSF proposes to concentrate the brine and sludge through solar evaporation in four drying basins. The sludge is proposed to be dried in windrows on a sludge drying pad.

Latest updates

Responses to section 22 notices and request for further information

EPA has received responses to the section 22 notice and request for further information from Water Sustainability Farm. The information is available in the supporting documents section of this Engage Victoria webpage.

Should you wish to provide comment on the responses provided, please email them to permissions@epa.vic.gov.au. Please note that the statutory clock on this application is still paused, as the applicant is yet to provide fit and proper person information

Previous updates

The Environment Protection Act 2017 came into effect on 1 July 2021. Under new laws, EPA will assess the previously submitted Works Approval application as a Development Licence application. EPA requested additional information from the applicant on 1 July 2021 to assist in the assessment of the application as a development licence.

On 10th May, EPA issued a second section 22 notice for further information to the applicant, Water Sustainability Farm Pty Ltd. The applicant must respond to the notice by 17 May.

A copy of the section 22 notice is available in the supporting documents section of this page.

Following the section 20B conference held on 26 May 2021 the independent chair of the event has issued their report detailing the findings of the conference.

A copy of the section 20B conference report is available in the supporting documents section of this page.

EPA has extended the submission period on this application to 7 May. This is to allow the public additional time to make submissions following Water Sustainability Farm's information session.

Water Sustainability Farm Pty Ltd is hosting an online information session to explain the information provided to EPA and answer any questions you might have.

Date: Thursday 29th April 2021

Time: 7.30pm – 8.30pm

To join the online information session, please use the following link.

Submissions on this works approval have now closed. EPA received 28 submissions.

Following community engagement and consideration of public submissions, EPA received a letter from Water Sustainability Farm on 24 May 2021 informing of a change in scope of the Works Approval Application. The change of scope includes the removal of dewatered sludge management from the proposal. Dewatered sludge will no longer be assessed within the Works Approval Application assessment, leaving the construction of solar evaporation basins within the scope of the assessment.

In addition, road access for the proposed activity has been changed from Lanes Avenue to Linders Road.

A copy of the letter is available in the supporting documents section of this page.

After receiving a number of submissions for the works approval application from Water Sustainability Farm, EPA will now hold a Section 20B Conference to ensure it understands community concerns regarding the works approval application.

The Section 20B Conference will be independently chaired and a report produced detailing community concerns. This report will be used by EPA to inform its decision on whether or not to approve the works approval application.

The Section 20B Conference will be held on Wednesday, 26 May at the Quantong Recreation Reserve between 7pm and 8:30pm. Registration for this event has now closed.

Following changes to Greater Melbourne's public health measures, the format of the Section 20B conference scheduled for Wednesday 26 May 2021 between 7pm and 8:30pm has changed. People who have registered for the conference can still attend at the Quantong Recreation Reserve provided they have not travelled from Greater Melbourne.

Please not that EPA representatives from the Bendigo office and the independent chair will attend the event in person. Representatives of the applicant and EPA's Development Assessments Unit will dial into the event remotely.

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Make a submission

Submissions on this works approval are open until 12 p.m. 7 May 2021.

You can make a submission using the form below. Alternatively, if you would like to provide your own submission please upload your document to the 'additional information and letter submission' field at the bottom of this page.

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