Licences and approvals

Panmure composting facility works approval

Map of Panmure area

Click image for larger version.

EPA’s decision on the works approval application (updated)*

VCAT to review the works approval decision

An appeal of EPA's decision to grant works approval 158925 to Statewide Recycling Services Pty Ltd has been lodged with the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT). Now that this application to review the decision has been lodged with VCAT the decision is suspended until the application is withdrawn or the review is determined.

EPA notes the VCAT hearing process is established and controlled by VCAT – EPA does not set timeframes or requirements for VCAT reviews. Information about the process is on VCAT’s website:

What happens when VCAT opens a case

Participating in VCAT proceedings

Common VCAT procedures (PDF 375K)

As the matter is now before VCAT, EPA cannot comment on the works approval.

*A works approval has been granted with conditions

Read the works approval and the works approval application executive summary.

EPA has granted a works approval with conditions to Statewide Recycling Services Pty Ltd for its application to upgrade the Panmure composting facility. The application has been assessed as complying with the relevant state environment protection policies (SEPPs), guidelines and the Environment Protection Act 1970.

EPA’s decision on the works approval application

The works approval issued to Statewide Recycling Services Pty Ltd is for the facility as proposed in the works approval application.

EPA comprehensively examined the application in line with the Environment Protection Act (1970), as well as relevant state environment protection policies and guidelines. EPA considered the public and referral authority submissions.

Our examination focused on the key environmental issues, which included odour emissions and odour management; process technology; noise emissions; leachate management; surface water and groundwater management; and the requirements for separation distances (buffers) around such facilities.

EPA determined that the environmental risk posed by this proposal is acceptable and that the proposal complies with the relevant state environment protection policies. It has therefore issued a works approval with conditions.

If you object to the issuing of the works approval or its conditions, you may have the decision reviewed by applying in writing within 21 days of the date of issue to:

Registrar, Planning and Environment Division
Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT)
7th Floor, 55 King Street, Melbourne

An application fee may be applicable when lodging an appeal with VCAT. Contact VCAT on 03 9628 9777 for further details on fees associated with an appeal. A copy of the appeal should also be forwarded, within seven days of lodgement, to:

Manager, Development Assessments Unit
Environment Protection Authority Victoria
GPO Box 4395, Melbourne 3001

The process

Environment Protection Authority (EPA) Victoria accepted a works approval application from Statewide Recycling Services Pty Ltd on 24 May 2017. The proposal is to upgrade the existing composting facility at 729 Warrumyea Road, Panmure, Victoria 3265. This will involve the replacement of the existing open windrow composting with in-vessel forced aeration technology.

You can see the application and accompanying reports below.

Process to date

The works approval application was advertised in the Herald Sun and the Warrnambool Standard on Wednesday 7 June 2017. The application was open for public comment until 28 June 2017. The application was also referred to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), and Moyne Shire Council. Moyne Shire Council’s response can be found here.

An open house information session was held between 12pm and 2pm on Tuesday 20 June 2017 at Panmure Hotel, 8809 Princes Hwy, Panmure VIC 3265. During this time residents, the Council, the applicant and EPA were in attendance.

Explanation of technical terms

Open-windrow composting is the production of compost by piling organic matter such as green wastes, animal manure and food waste in long rows in the open.

In-vessel composting involves placing organic composting materials in a concrete bunker with a cover or in a building in which air and temperature are controlled. Buried tubes inject fresh air and the exhaust passes through a biofilter. Temperature and moisture are monitored using probes in the mass to maintain optimum aerobic decomposition conditions.


EPA has received five submissions from the public. Issues raised related to the existing operation were odour and noise emissions, impact on the groundwater and surface water and waste streams handled. In addition to these existing issues, the submissions also required EPA to consider:

  • the possible contaminants in the proposed waste streams to be processed
  • leachate pond capacity and integrity
  • meeting composting pasteurisation process
  • noise emissions from the proposed operation
  • ongoing operational management, including record keeping, performance review process, monitoring and community engagement, etc.

Section 22 Notice – request for additional information

After reviewing the submissions, EPA identified a number of specific environmental issues and subsequently issued a notice to the applicant (under section 22 of the Environment Protection Act 1970) on 19 July 2017 requesting the applicant to address the issues raised by the public (the section 22 notice can be viewed here). EPA accepted the applicant’s response on 21 September 2017 (the responses can be viewed here and here).

Following further assessment of the application, EPA issued a second section 22 notice on 17 October 2017 requesting the applicant to provide further information and clarification regarding the proposed composting process (the second section 22 notice can be viewed here).  EPA accepted the applicant’s response to the second notice on 24th November 2017 (the responses can be viewed here and here).

Application timeline to date

24/05/2017 – Final works approval application received by EPA.
7/06/2017 – Public advertising of works approval and public comment period for submissions open.
28/06/2017 – Public comment period for submissions close.
19/07/2017 – Section 22 notice issued requesting further information.
21/09/2017 – Response to section 22 notice received.
17/10/2017 – Second section 22 notice issued requesting further information.
24/11/2017 – Response to second section 22 notice received

Further information

If you wish to speak to someone about the works approval application, please contact EPA’s Development Assessment Unit by calling 1300 372 842 (1300 EPA VIC) or emailing your enquiry to:

Supporting documentation

Works approval application

Page last updated on 6 Mar 2018