Yumbah Aquaculture has responded to almost 350 submissions on a proposed onshore abalone farm near Portland.
The Glenelg Shire Council and Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) received 335 submissions and three petitions during information sessions held in November.
Of those submissions, 237 were opposed and 90 were in support of the proposed 63-hectare site at Dutton Way, Bolwarra.
An independently chaired community conference was held at Portland civic hall on December 19 but a final decision was not made.
Yumbah was required to respond to all 338 submissions, as well as provide further documents to the EPA, including a hydrogeological assessment and a draft biosecurity plan.
The requested documents are now available on the Engage Victoria website. Further submissions in response to the new information will be open until 12pm on January 29.
EPA acting executive director Tim Faragher said the comment period was for the additional information only.
“All the submissions EPA has previously received about this proposal and information obtained at the community conference held in December will still be considered in EPA’s assessment of the application,” he said.
In Yumbah’s formal response, the submissions were considered under nine themes: maintaining amenity within the rural living zone; the proposed site; the defined use of the land being industrial; traffic generation; visual impact and scale of the development; impact to tourism; glare from solar panels; noise; odour and impact to property values and rates.
Yumbah said the proposed development would likely generate up to 220 light vehicle movements per day and would not need regular B-Double access.
It said operational noise levels were predicted to comply with the State Environment Protection Policy criteria, and that odour would be improved at the new facility, with all mortalities collected on a daily basis and placed in freezers inside a storage facility.
Once freezers reach capacity, the waste will be transported offsite for disposal at a local municipal landfill.
Yumbah acknowledged the development would change the outlook of surround properties, but said the visual impact needed to be considered in the context of decision guidelines, which didn’t relate to the visual impact of surrounding sensitive developments.
Yumbah added that, given the number of submissions relating to the visual impact of the development, a review would be conducted to see if changes could be made to address the public’s concerns.
The company’s full proposal and associated documents can be found at Engage Victoria.
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