Date of offence
12 February 2021
Type of offence
1. Disobey conditions of licence at Korumburra on 12 February 2021, contrary to s.27(2).
Background of offence

Proceedings against South Gippsland Region Water Corporation, which trades as South Gippsland Water (SGW) finalised on 4 April 2024. SGW plead guilty before Magistrate Halse at Korumburra Magistrates’ Court to one charge of contravening a licence condition under section 27(2) of the Environment Protection Act 1970.

SGW operate a wastewater treatment plant in Korumburra and have an EPA licence to discharge treated wastewater in accordance with set limits, into Foster Creek.

Between 21 January 2021 and 20 February 2021, the normal operation of the wastewater treatment plant was disrupted by incidents of illegal dumping of trade waste to SGW’s sewerage system by an unknown third party.

SGW notified EPA of the plant upset and subsequent inability to treat incoming wastewater to the quality required by its EPA licence, before being discharged to Foster Creek. Although the plant at Korumburra includes an emergency storage lagoon, it did not have capacity to store all of the incoming wastewater due to volume limits.

On 12, 15 and 16 February 2021, EPA Officers attended SGW’s premises in response to notification by SGW of the discharge of licence non-compliant wastewater to Foster Creek.

On each occasion, EPA officers took samples of the water being discharged from the Korumburra wastewater treatment plant into Foster Creek. Analysis of those samples identified ammonia at a concentration above the permitted licence limit.

For the contravention, SGW, without conviction, was placed on an adjourned undertaking for a period of 12 months, with a condition to pay $10,000 into the Court fund. SGW were also ordered to pay EPA’s costs of $6,760.

The Court granted a s 67AC Specified Community Project Order, and SGW was ordered to pay $50,000 to the West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority for the Powlett River Kugerungmome Partnerships Project which will involve fencing off waterways from stock to improve the conditions of Foster Creek, weed control, and revegetation of the surrounding areas. SGW were also ordered to publish details of its offending in the South Gippsland Sentinel Times, under a s67AC Adverse Publicity Order.

Date of court hearing
4 April 2024
Date of court order
24 April 2024
Court magistrate
A D Halse
Court location
Proceeding number

Court orders made

Without conviction, Adjourned to Korumburra Magistrates' Court on 03 April 2025.

Accused released upon giving an Undertaking starting on 04 April 2024.

To appear before the adjourned date if called upon during the period of adjournment.

Accused to be of good behaviour during the period of adjournment.

The accused is to pay $10,000 to the Court Fund.

s.67AC (2)(a) Adverse Publicity Order - terms provided and publication within 60 days.

s.67AC(2)(c) Specified Community Project Order in the amount of $50,000 to be paid to the West Gippsland Catchment Authority within 60 days.

Accused to pay EPA costs of $6,760.

Reviewed 14 May 2024