A Maffra dairy farming company has been fined nearly $8,000 by Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) for allowing an effluent spill into a creek, which flows into the Macalister River.
M&K Gault Pty Ltd runs a property on the Maffra-Sale Road, Maffra. In September 2017, EPA officers attended the property and observed effluent being allowed to run in to the creek.
“EPA investigated the M & K Gault Pty Ltd property following a pollution report of mismanaged dairy effluent,” said EPA Gippsland Manager, Stephen Lansdell.
“M & K Gault has taken remediation measures and we’re hoping this infringement notice for $7,929 will encourage and serve as a reminder to other dairy operators to manage their dairy effluent appropriately, apply best practise standards and comply with the Environment Protection Act 1970,” he said.
M&K director, Matthew Gault, is also a director of Gray Wigg Gault Pty Ltd, which was fined by EPA last year after a similar incident at their Winnindoo dairy farm. In August 2017, EPA fined Gray Wigg Gault $7,929 for allowing between 10,000 and 50,000 litres of dairy effluent leaving its Winnindoo site and entering a stormwater drain in July 2017.
“It is disappointing that EPA continues to find dairy pollution entering our waterways, however we are very thankful to our local community for being the eyes and ears reporting this pollution. Dairy compliance is a key strategic focus and we encourage anyone to report pollution to our hotline on 1300 EPA VIC (1300 372 842).”
EPA encourages dairy processors to support their milk suppliers in managing effluent. Agriculture Victoria and dairy regional development programs such as GippsDairy have a range of tools which can assist farmers.
Guidelines on effective effluent management on dairy farms can be found by visiting:
Under the Environment Protection Act 1970 and the Infringements Act 2008, M&K Gault has the right to have the decision to issue the infringement notice reviewed or alternatively to have the matter heard and determined by a court.