River users call for Midfield rendering plant relocation

THE Midfield Group should close its Levys Point rendering plant and locate it elsewhere instead of spending $3 million to upgrade it, a member of the Merri River Protection Group says.

Warrnambool Fly Fishers Club president Adrian Jacobs said the rendering plant’s present site adjacent to the Merri River’s sensitive wetlands, was inappropriate for the operation.

Mr Jacobs said the Kellys Swamp wetlands were at risk of contamination if they flooded into the rendering plant.

The plant treats waste from Midfield’s meat processing plant in McMeekin Road that processes about two million head of livestock each year. 

Mr Jacobs said he hoped the upgrade would reduce the risk of the rendering plant being flooded when the wetlands overflowed. Midfield announced on Sunday a $3 million upgrade of the plant to improve the treatment of its waste and the disposal of the waste water though a trade waste connection.

The upgrade is part of a $20 million investment by Midfield and the state government that also involves the construction of a $15 million cold storage and a $2 million upgrade of Midfield’s refrigeration facilities.

The state government has contributed $1.5 million from its Regional Growth Fund to the project. 

The upgrade of the Levys  Point rendering plant will include the construction of a trade waste sewer, installation of new equipment to separate waste streams and treat nutrients, construction of anaerobic tanks to treat waste water and capture biogas and a new effluent storage plant.

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