The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) has refused to stay the application of an EPA Victoria prohibition notice by Van Hessen Australia Pty Ltd in Wangaratta.
The EPA notice prohibits Van Hessen discharging wastewater into its wastewater ponds until dissolved oxygen levels are maintained at an acceptable level and odours are not discharged beyond the boundary of the premises.
Van Hessen challenged the notice in VCAT and asked for it to be stayed (meaning not enforceable) until a full VCAT hearing can be held.
The VCAT decision means the notice remains in force until a full hearing is held in May.
EPA North-East Region Manager Renee Palmer said EPA remained committed to resolving the odour issues caused by Van Hessen and to improving the amenity for the Wangaratta community.
“EPA is not here to stop the business operating, just to make sure it meets its responsibilities to the environment and the community,” she said.
“One of the most useful tools in monitoring odour is EPA’s log of calls received from the public, and those calls have steadily tapered off since the company was prohibited from sending wastewater to the treatment ponds,” Ms Palmer said.
The public can report odour and other types of pollution by calling EPA’s 24 hour hotline on 1300 372 842 or providing details online at epa.vic.gov.au/report-pollution/reporting-pollution
Reviewed 25 January 2023