Warrnambool Coastcare Landcare Network say the Midfield Group’s proposal to build a new animal protein plant could be a win-win for the company and for the environment.
It comes after The Standard revealed plans on Wednesday for a new facility at its McMeekin Road/Scott Street site, estimated to cost between $20-$25 million.
This could result in the decommissioning of the company’s rendering plant at Levy’s Point Coastal Reserve.
Midfield is proposing to build an in-line protein recovery processing facility.
Warrnambool Coastcare Landcare Network chairman Bruce Campbell said “if the new facility was built at the Midfield site with state-of-the-art technology that is much more environmentally sound”.
“Then if the rendering plant is removed and the site can be used for something more environmentally sensitive that will be great,” Mr Campbell said.
“Potentially the proposal is a win-win for the environment and the wider community.”
Mr Campbell said one thing he did not want to see was the space “become a car park for horse floats”.
Environmental Protection Agency spokesperson John Rees said the organisation was across the plans.
“EPA is aware of Midfield Group’s proposal to investigate an increase in its Warrnambool operations,” Mr Rees said.
“Such an expansion will likely require a works approval which EPA will consider in the normal process once an application is received.”
Midfield projects manager Kevin Banner said the proposed facility would cost in the vicinity of $20-$25 million.
He said the current rendering plant at Levy’s Point had not taken “dead or dying stock for a number of years”.
“The protein plant will process all materials, therefore the need for the rendering plant will not be there,” he said.
In Midfield’s plans for the proposed facility it said: “the company is very mindful of both regulatory compliance and community expectations”.
“Any proposal is subject to thorough assessment processes through the EPA and the council - community benefit is their top priority.”
Readers took to The Standard’s Facebook page, offering their thoughts on the proposal, which is yet to be submitted to the EPA or Warrnambool City Council for consideration.
Richard Debney said: “That would be the best gift to the environment of Warrnambool. Here's hoping and good luck Midfield. Nicole Parkes replied, saying “I think it's great for the environment. Not so great for residents in Granter/Landmann street.”