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Westpork Pty Ltd – Boscabel (formerly operated by GD Pork Pty Ltd)

Background

The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation granted GD Pork Pty Ltd Works Approval W5865/2015/1 in September 2015, allowing for the construction of an intensive piggery on the corner of Albany Highway and Crapella Road in Boscabel near Kojonup.

This premises has since been under investigation, following odour complaints from residents and a local business. Our officers inspected the piggery on several occasions between November 2017 and September 2018 to assess odour impacts and compliance with the Environmental Protection Act 1986 (EP Act).

In March 2018, an Environmental Protection Notice (EPN) was issued to GD Pork as we had reason to suspect emissions of odour and groundwater seepage from the premises had caused or were likely to cause pollution. 

The EPN conditions included not accepting any more animals to the weaner and finisher sheds, reducing the number of pigs to less than 1000 and stopping the discharge of effluent. 

Further conditions stipulated that groundwater monitoring was to be carried out to investigate the extent and nature of groundwater emissions.

Our officers revisited the site in June 2018, identifying that GD Pork had complied with a number of the EPN requirements and had constructed infrastructure to treat piggery effluent.

In September 2018, we amended Works Approval W5865/2015/1 to extend the duration until 27 September 2019 to allow us time to process a licence application from GD Pork and to properly commission the waste treatment infrastructure. A licence was not granted to GD Pork at the time.

On 2 November 2018, we were advised that GD Pork had been placed into administration. The sale of the premises to Westpork Pty Ltd (Westpork) has now been finalised.

The existing EPN issued to GD Pork Pty Ltd will remain in effect while we carry out ongoing investigations.

On 12 April 2019, Westpork became the occupier of the premises and applied to transfer Works Approval W5865/2015/1 into its name.

On 17 May 2019, we transferred the works approval to Westpork. There are no provisions under the EP Act to allow the licence application submitted by GD Pork to be transferred to another entity, so Westpork will need to apply for a licence at an appropriate time.

What is happening now?

On 12 April 2019, Westpork became the occupier of the premises and applied to transfer Works Approval W5865/2015/1 into its name. On 17 May 2019, we transferred the works approval to Westpork. 

There are no provisions under the EP Act to allow the licence application submitted by GD Pork to be transferred to another entity, so Westpork will need to apply for a licence at an appropriate time.

Westpork has started cleaning out ponds and has improved the operation of the anaerobic digestor in recent times.

On 25 July 2019, we issued an EPN to Westpork Pty Ltd to require destocking of the facility by June 2020, considered appropriate and necessary to reduce odour emissions.

Our officers visited the premises on 13 August 2019 to observe the progress of maintenance works necessary for the proposed improvements.

After visiting the premises, we hosted a community consultation at The Kodja Place Precinct in Kojonup. Representatives of the department, Westpork and the Shire of Kojonup provided an overview of the current and future management of the premises and responded to questions.

On 23 September 2019 the department amended Westpork’s Works Approval W5865/2015/1 to extend its duration to align with the destocking date specified on the EPN.

Public appeal period

On 3 October 2019 we issued Works Approval W6268/2019/1 to allow Westpork to construct additional waste treatment infrastructure to help improve waste treatment and reduce the risk of impacts to the amenity or the environment. 

In accordance with section 102(3) of the EP Act, if you are aggrieved by the specification of any condition in Works Approval W6268/2019/1, you may lodge an appeal with the Minister for Environment within 21 days from the date on which the works approval is granted. Please contact the Office of the Appeals Convenor on (08) 6364 7990 to find out the procedure and fee.

Further improvement works are expected in the short term.

When clean-up and improvement works have been completed, Westpork will be required to apply for a licence to continue to operate the piggery.

We will continue to inspect the premises regularly to assess compliance with the new EPN and monitor emissions.

More information

We will update this page as new information comes to hand. If you have concerns or would like more information, call the Contaminated Sites hotline on 1300 762 982.


Updated 4 October 2019