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On 24 March 2017, Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) issued works approval 138994 (PDF 990KB) to Landfill Operations P/L to extend its Melbourne Regional Landfill at Ravenhall
On 8 June 2017 the Minister for Planning published his decision on planning permit application PA2016/5118, made by Landfill Operations for its proposed extension to the Melbourne Regional Landfill. The planning permit and a fact sheet can be viewed and downloaded from the planning section of the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning website.
A joint planning hearing and section 20B community conference was held over 18 days in September and October 2016 in Melbourne and Caroline Springs, administered by Planning Panels Victoria.
In accordance with section 20B(4) of the Environment Protection Act 1970, EPA considered the discussions, resolutions and recommendations from the conference in its assessment of the works approval application. At the time EPA made its decision on the works approval application, the panel report was confidential, but it is now publicly available (PDF).
VCAT upholds works approval with varied conditions
On 17 June 2019, VCAT upheld EPA’s decision to issue a works approval for the expansion of Melbourne Regional Landfill, with varied conditions.
VCAT reviews the works approval decision
EPA’s decision to issue works approval 138994 was reviewed by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).
On 2 June 2017, VCAT ordered EPA to place a copy of all application documents provided to EPA by the applicants on EPA’s ‘Ravenhall landfill’ website. In compliance with that order, please see the VCAT application documents.
EPA notes that:
- 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:
- as the matter is now before VCAT, EPA cannot comment on the works approval.
VCAT application documents
In accordance with Order 7 of VCAT Orders dated 2 June 2017, EPA publishes the following application materials provided by the applicants pursuant to Order 6:
Brimbank City Council
Landfill Operations P/L
Note that Attachments 5 and 6 are supplemental to Landfill Operations’ works approval application documents available at Assessment process for Melbourne Regional Landfill and Works approval application for Melbourne Regional Landfill.
Melton City Council
Middle Hopkings Investments P/L
Mount Atkinson Holdings P/L
Stop the Tip
The works approval issued by EPA
The works approval issued to Landfill Operations is for a smaller landfill than applied for, with a shorter lifespan. It also requires that the secures a planning permit from the Minister for Planning.
The works approval:
- limits the landfill to seven cells in the south portion
- limits the land area to 96 hectares, with 23 million cubic metres of airspace
- allows space for 13 years of landfilling (from 2025 to 2038) – based on projected landfilling rates.
The works approval allows for approximately half of the proposal put forward by Cleanaway and is subject to the proposal securing a planning permit from the Minister for Planning.
The decision followed 13 months of extensive engagement and consultation with community and considered the expert views of specialist EPA staff, the expert views of staff at referral agencies and waste groups, and over 3900 public submissions.
Proposed and approved extension
For a summary of the works approval assessment, read Melbourne Regional Landfill works approval decision (publication 1653).
For a comprehensive outline of the assessment, read the works approval assessment report (PDF 49MB – very large file).
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
Important issues and how EPA assessed them
- The works approval is now dependent on the outcome of the VCAT review.
- The relevant conditions in the works approval have to be met before and during the construction of each landfill cell and leachate pond.
- Landfill Operations must get an EPA licence to begin disposing of waste into the proposed cells. A new licence or licence amendment is needed each time the company wants to begin filling a new cell or if it wants to change any aspect of its operations.
- Landfill Operations will need to provide the necessary financial assurance sum in accordance with EPA guidelines and as agreed with EPA before it can dispose of any waste.
How can the community stay informed?
Cleanaway (the owner of Landfill Operations) has established a community reference group for Melbourne Regional Landfill. The aims of the independently facilitated group are to:
- provide an opportunity for community members to raise any concerns they may have
- foster community understanding and confidence in the operation of the landfill by accessing information such as monitoring data, and attending presentations and site tours
- develop an understanding of Cleanaway’s current and future priorities regarding the ongoing operation of the site.
Documents from the community reference group, including minutes and agendas, will be uploaded to a page on Cleanaway’s website.
Current and future statutory documents (such as licences) and any regulatory activities (such as annual performance statements) relating to the Melbourne Regional Landfill will be made available on EPA’s website. If Landfill Operations applies for a licence amendment or a works approval in the future, EPA will publicise the applications and consult with the community.
EPA’s assessment of Landfill Operations’ works approval application found that a smaller landfill restricted to the South Portion of the site:
- is not expected to negatively impact on the health of those living or working near the landfill
- is suitably located
- meets international landfill best-practice standards
- is not expected to cause pollution
- complies with the relevant government landfill and environmental guidelines and policies.
Read about the assessment process.
What was proposed in the works approval application?
The application proposed the extension of the existing landfill by using voids produced from ongoing Boral quarrying operations. It would feature the following:
- creation of 16 new landfill cells in two sections (north and south portions), with only one cell to be active at a time
- additional landfill area of 210 hectares with 53 million cubic metres of airspace (the space to be filled with waste)
- landfill to continue to receive the same type of waste it currently receives
- space for 30 years of landfilling (from 2025 to 2055).
Read about the works approval application.