- Date incident first reported
- 18 June 2019
- Locations Affected
Monsbent Pty Ltd (trading as D&R Henderson) operate a particleboard manufacturing facility at 42 Yarrawonga Road, Benalla, Victoria. They chip timber scrap, recycled wood materials and plantation Radiata Pine for manufacturing into chipboard.
In the last 12 months we have received 126 complaints from residents about Monsbent. The main concerns are particulates and nuisance dust and storage of combustible material, which can impact on human health.
In September 2022, following an investigation into the alleged discharge of odour, dust, airborne particles and oxides of nitrogen, EPA has laid charges against the company and a former company director. The matter is now before the courts.
EPA continues to monitor the site and provide advice to Monsbent.
Compliance and enforcement
- Under the Environment Protection Act, the company has a responsibility to take reasonable steps to eliminate risk to human health and the environment. Monsbent also holds an EPA operating license that is subject to conditions.
- From 2009 Monsbent has had recurring licence compliance issues, requiring EPA involvement. We have issued 13 regulatory notices to the company requiring it to act.
In 2021 we prosecuted Monsbent for failing to meet the requirements of its operating licence (proceeding L11911724 and M10113486). A court order was made on 15 September 2021 for a $80,000 fine and a 6-month good behaviour bond for the company’s director.
In October 2021 Monsbent applied for a development license (application APP004462) to install a wet electrostatic precipitator to treat the air emissions from two woodchip dryers. The proposal also included an associated heat plant to recover energy from collected solid waste at the D&R Henderson Benalla facility.
In September 2022, EPA laid 39 charges each against the company and a former company director, including for alleged breaches of their EPA license conditions, which are criminal offences under the legislation. Read our media release for more information.
We need all industries in Victoria, to follow the laws to protect our communities and environment from the effects of pollution and waste. We will continue to support the company to achieve compliance. As the matter is now before the courts EPA will be making no further comment.
Responsibilities by organisation
There are many organisations that have a role in regulation, to ensure Monsbent Pty Ltd prevents and manages any risks to human health and the environment.
As Victoria’s independent environment regulator, our role is to check and enforce compliance with the Environment Protection Act (2017). One of the tools available to EPA is the licensing of certain scheduled premises that may present a risk to the environment. The EPA ensures license holders, such as Monsbent Pty Ltd, complies with the obligations of their licence to minimise risk to human health and the environment.
For more information
- Learn about EPA operating licences, our permissions tool for high-risk, high complexity activities.
- How EPA uses prosecutions to protect the environment
License holder (also known as a duty holder)
Monsbent Pty Ltd (trading as D&R Henderson) is the holder of EPA license 9379.
One of Monsbent's license conditions specifies the emissions limits on the site. The emission limits follow Victoria’s standards for air emissions, and were set following robust scientific analysis of data from the site. The EPA operating licence conditions have not changed in 3 years.
The Benalla Rural City Council has legislative oversight of the planning requirements for the site.
Reviewed 17 May 2023