A $3.4 million upgrade of the Midfield Meat rendering plant at Levys Point and a new sewer pipe have been given the green light by the Environment Protection Authority, but are yet to be approved by the Warrnambool City Council.
Environmentalists have protested, fearing the proposed works would put further pressure on the sensitive Kelly Swamp wetlands.
The council received two objections to the Midfield proposal, advertised earlier this year, relating to upgrades for wastewater treatment facilities, removal of native vegetation and waiver of car parking requirements.
“The application will now proceed to final assessment, including consideration of issues raised in the objections,” council communications manager Nick Higgins said.
Merri Wetlands Protections Group submitted a 20-page objection to the proposal, arguing the rendering plant was an isolated plant in an inappropriate site in a farming zone. The group understands the proposed new pipeline from the rendering plant will run across Crown land that has an environmental overlay, through a public reserve then over the Merri River and along Swinton Street to the sewer.
“We are opposed to the granting of any permission that will enable the plant to be further entrenched,” the group said.
Midfield received a $1.5m state government grant towards an upgrade of its rendering plant capacity and pipeline to Wannon Water’s wastewater treatment plant.
The upgrade is part of a huge expansion proposal for the Scott Street abattoir.
The EPA said a works permit was not required as the upgrade would significantly improve the environmental aspects.
Wannon Water said it would sign a new trade waste agreement with Midfield when approvals by other authorities had been finalised.