Licences and approvals

Wyndham landfill works approval application

On this page:

Further information can be found on the Wyndham landfill works approval application archive page.

VCAT has ordered EPA to reissue the works approval with an amendment

An application was brought to VCAT by the Western Region Environment Centre (WREC) to review EPA's decision to issue a works approval to enlarge the West Road Werribee landfill.

VCAT reviewed the decision, and on 27 July 2018 VCAT issued an order (Word 68KB) in relation  to this matter (VCAT reference no: P2475/2017).

VCAT ordered EPA to reissue the works approval subject to the inclusion in the works approval of the following additional condition:

Works conditions

  • In order to minimise the potential for odour issues at the adjacent dwellings to the east and the new residential development to the north, the area of the tipping face in cells 5A, 5B and 5C shall be no greater than 900 square metres.

EPA reissued works approval 148798 (PDF 3.4MB) with the additional condition, as directed by VCAT, on 13 August 2018.

VCAT to review the works approval decision

An appeal of EPA's decision to grant works approval 148798 to Wyndham City Council has been lodged with the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT). Now that this application to review the decision has been lodged with VCAT the decision is suspended until the application is withdrawn or the review is determined.

EPA notes 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:

What happens when VCAT opens a case.

Participating in VCAT proceedings.

Common VCAT procedures. (PDF 375KB)

As the matter is now before VCAT, EPA cannot comment on the works approval. 

A works approval has been granted

Read the original works approval (PDF 2MB) and the full assessment report (PDF 21MB – very large file).

The approved works include:

  • construction of four new landfill areas, which will each be made up of multiple sub-cells
  • cells constructed to a maximum height of around 22 metres above the average ground level.

These new works are all contained within the current landfill site boundary (which covers an area of 212 hectares), and the landfill will continue to receive the same types of wastes as it currently receives.

Satellite shot of Wyndham site with overlay showing locations of current and proposed cells

The Wyndham landfill site includes four existing cells (1 to 4) and four proposed areas (cells 5 to 8).

EPA’s assessment of the works approval application determined that the proposed landfill expansion:

Through the assessment and consultation process, improvements were made to the landfill design

EPA consulted with stakeholders throughout the assessment process and received around 170 submissions about the works approval application. EPA also requested further information from WCC including design information. As a result, WCC made a number of revisions to the proposed landfills during the assessment period. These revisions included the following:

  • Scrapping proposed ‘piggyback’ cells. Piggyback cells are new cells constructed on top of old cells. The withdrawal of the piggyback cells shortens the life of the proposed works by around seven years. This shorter time frame now sits within the planning timeframes of the Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Implementation Plan (MWRRIP) and the State-wide Waste and Resource Recovery Implementation Plan (SWRRIP).
  • Improving protection of groundwater and alignment with the Waste Management Policy. This includes design and management measures (of an additional liner and a groundwater drainage layer) to further protect groundwater and also protect the integrity of the clay liner from a buildup of groundwater pressure.
  • Improving the filling schedule. This will reduce the time that parts of cells will remain only partially rehabilitated with an interim cap rather than a final cap.
  • Earlier rehabilitation of existing cell areas than would have otherwise occurred under the current operation.

Detail of the works approval assessment

Next steps

Should WCC wish to construct subsequent cells or a leachate pond at the landfill, the following steps must occur:

  • The relevant conditions in the works approval must be met before and during the construction of each landfill cell and leachate pond.
  • The construction of each cell and/or leachate pond must be verified by an EPA-appointed environmental auditor to ensure that the construction complies with approved design documents.
  • On completion of construction, WCC must submit a licence amendment application. An EPA auditor report must verify that the cells’ construction complies with the approved plans.
  • WCC must obtain an EPA licence to begin disposing of waste into the proposed cells. A new licence or licence amendment is needed before filling a new cell or if changes to any aspect of the operations is proposed.
  • WCC will need to provide the necessary Financial Assurance sum before they can dispose of any waste into the new cells.

How can stakeholders stay informed?

WCC has established a community reference group for the refuse disposal facility (the landfill). The aim is that the independently facilitated group will:

  • enable information exchange between residents, community groups, government agencies, WCC and other stakeholders in relation to the facility, and waste management and resource recovery in general
  • facilitate community awareness of the strategic planning, operations, environmental performance, and any short-, medium- and long-term development of the facility
  • foster understanding and cooperation between community members and WCC staff in minimising the impact of the landfill on the local community
  • provide input to WCC’s community engagement and education activities in relation to the landfill, and waste management and resource recovery in general.

Documents from the community reference group, including minutes, will be uploaded to a dedicated page on WCC’s website.

Current and future statutory documents (such as licences) and any regulatory activities (such as Annual Performance Statements) relating to the Wyndham landfill will be made available on EPA’s website. If WCC applies for a licence amendment or a works approval in the future, EPA will publicise the applications and consult with stakeholders.

More information

Please feel free to contact EPA on 1300 372 842 (1300 EPA VIC) or by email at

If you need interpreter assistance or want this page translated, please call 131 450 and ask to speak with Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA).


Q and A on the Wyndham works approval + Expand all Collapse all

  • What is a works approval?

    A works approval is a statutory approval issued by EPA. It permits, subject to certain conditions, the construction of a plant (such as an industrial facility or a landfill), installation of equipment or modification of a process. A works approval is required for industrial and waste management activities that may result in any one of the following:

    • discharge of waste into the environment (air, water or land)
    • an increase in, or an alteration to an existing discharge
    • a change in the way waste is treated or stored.
  • What kinds of waste will the landfill accept?

    The types of waste being accepted at the landfill has not changed.

    The landfill will continue to accept domestic and commercial waste, supermarket processing and food waste, garden waste, demolition material, concrete, bricks, timber, plastic, glass, metals, bitumen, trees, uncontaminated fill and shredded tyres.

    The landfill is not licensed to accept contaminated soil, asbestos or other prescribed industrial wastes.

  • What was EPA's decision on the works approval application?

    A works approval has been granted.

    The approved works include:

    • construction of four new landfill cells, which will each be made up of multiple sub-cells
    • cells constructed to a maximum height of about 22 m above ground level (44 m AHD).

    These new works are all contained within the current landfill site boundary (which covers an area of 212 ha), and the landfill will continue to receive the same types of wastes as it currently receives.

  • How did EPA assess the proposal?

    EPA technically assessed the works approval application over a 10-month period to decide whether to issue the works approval. We consulted the community and other stakeholders during the assessment.

    EPA assessed the potential impact of the works against the requirements of the Environment Protection Act 1970 and one or more state environment protection policies or other policies and guidelines.

    EPA assessed the following key issues as relevant to the Wyndham City Council works approval proposal:

    • human health
    • air and dust
    • odour
    • noise
    • landfill gas generation and risk management
    • the potential pollution of air, land, groundwater and surface water
    • compliance with the various waste management landfill policies and best-practice environmental management guidance
    • consistency with the statewide and regional waste resource recovery plans and compliance with s50C of the Environment Protection Act
    • the environment protection principles of the Environment Protection Act
    • the Wyndham landfill’s track record
    • water use
    • greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.

    EPA took and considered submissions from the community and the recommendations from a formal community conference held under section 20B provisions of the Environment Protection Act. EPA also considered the expert views of referral agencies such as:

    • Sustainability Victoria
    • Department of Health and Human Services
    • Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning
    • Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Group
    • Melbourne Water.

    Additionally, we sought peer review from the Independent Landfill Expert Advisory Panel and had the stormwater management plan externally reviewed.

  • Does the extension require planning approval?

    The council requires both planning permit approval and an EPA works approval for the expansion of the landfill. EPA understands that the planning permit is already in place.

  • Did EPA consider the 170 submissions from stakeholders?

    EPA consulted stakeholders throughout the assessment process and received around 170 submissions about the works approval application. Subsequently, we held an s20B conference on 14 March to gain a better understanding of the stakeholder and community concerns. The independent chair of the s20B conference produce a report with a number of recommendations that EPA must consider in its determination of the works approval application. The report is an appendix to the works approval application assessment report, which also (in section 2) details the key themes raised by submitters, and EPA’s response to them.

    After releasing the s20B conference report, EPA also requested further information from the council, including information on the landfill design. As a result, the council made a number of positive revisions to the proposed works during the assessment period, including:

    • scrapping proposed ‘piggy-back’ cells, which has resulted in a reduced duration and volume of waste. Piggy-back cells are new cells constructed on top of old cells
    • improving protection of groundwater
    • improving alignment with the Waste Management Policy
    • improving the filling schedule
    • earlier rehabilitation of existing cell areas.

    Section 2 of the WAA assessment report also details EPA’s response to the main concerns raised in the submissions.

  • What are the buffer distances around the site?

    A buffer distance around a site is there to protect neighbouring sites from dust or odour during non-routine operating conditions.

    EPA’s Siting, design, operation and rehabilitation of landfills (publication 788) says buffer distances should be 500 m from buildings and structures of sensitive use. A 500 m landfill gas buffer should also be maintained to protect neighbouring sites from potential migration of landfill gas beneath the soil.

    Additionally, an odour buffer has been established around the site to indicate the zone of medium risk. Wyndham City Council has proposed that an environmental significance overlay be applied to this area manage land use and development within this buffer zone. If adopted, this would help safeguard a suitably sized buffer zone around the landfill and reduce potential future land-use conflicts.

  • Health is a concern to many local residents – will there be any impacts to health?

    In general, non-hazardous waste landfills such as Wyndham have not been linked to health effects. However, some gases and compounds released from such landfills may be odorous and can affect the wellbeing of the local community.

    Department of Health and Human Services does not object to the proposed landfill works on public health grounds, provided that the landfill meets relevant state environment protection policies and environmental guidelines.

  • How does the landfill meet ‘best–practice’ requirements?

    The existing landfill must adhere to all EPA licence conditions and environmental policies that set out minimum design, operational and management requirements for landfills.

    The site must comply with Siting, design, operation an rehabilitation of landfills (publication 788; the Landfill BPEM), which details what EPA considers best-practice measures for landfills. These requirements must be met during the design and construction of all landfill cells in Victoria.

    The EPA licence holder must also prepare and implement an environmental monitoring program for the landfill that is verified by an environmental auditor, and prevent or remedy any offsite impacts.

Page last updated on 21 Aug 2018