Section 20B Conference Chair

In 2015, Jen chaired a consultation conference under Section 20B of the Environment Protection Act.
The purpose of the session was to enable a formal community response to the proposal by Iluka Resources to dispose of radioactive waste in a closed mine in Western Victoria.
In 2016 Jen was asked to chair a further information session regarding the Iluka proposal to enable concerned community members to be briefed on additional information provided by the proponent.

Jen subsequently chaired s20B conferences for EPA Works Approval applications for the following proposals:

  • Midfield Meats to establish a protein recovery plant and biofilter at their existing abattoir site in Scott Street, Warrnambool (October 2018).
  • Yumbah Aquaculture to develop an abalone farm on Dutton Way in Portland (December 2018).
  • Advanced Composting Technologies of Australasia Pty Ltd (ACTA) to establish a static pile composting facility in Bannockburn (June 2019).
  • Meatworks Australia to build an abattoir in Gillieston, on the outskirts of Shepparton (July 2019).
  • Great Southern Waste Technologies to establish a waste-to-energy plant in South Dandenong (March 2020).
  • Wannon Water to upgrade a sewage treatment plan in Warrnambool (July 2020, online).

The purpose of the s20B Conferences is to enable the EPA and the applicant to hear, and better understand, the views and concerns of the community and stakeholders, to explain the works approval application, the assessment process and the current status of the proposal, and to discuss ideas about possible resolution of concerns and conditions if the works approval is issued.

Each of the above processes involved prior liaison with the proponent and concerned members of the public to explain the Conference process.
Documentation of community input received and production of recommendations is an important component of the 20B process. Under the Environment Protection Act, the EPA had to act on the Chair’s recommendations and explain why any recommendations were not followed. Each of the above processes (except GSWT and Wannon Water) was jointly convened by the relevant Council; Jen also provided suggestions to consider in the assessment of the relevant Planning Permit Application.

Jen was assisted by the following talented people in the production of the formal Conference Reports: Angela Hawdon (Iluka Resources), Sally Chandler Ford (Midfield Meats) and Kylie Cirak (Yumbah Aquaculture, ACTA composting, Meatworks Australia, GSWT, Wannon Water).