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EPA Approves Fish Processing Facility for State's North West

15 December 2009


A proposal to establish a fish processing facility at Parramatta Creek in Sassafras in the north of the state has gained environmental approval from Tasmania's Environment Protection Authority (EPA).

EPA chairman John Ramsay said the proponent, Huon Aquaculture Company Pty Ltd, had shown that the facility can be built and managed in an environmentally acceptable manner.

Mr Ramsay said the proposal is to modify and extend the existing food processing site at Parramatta Creek to enable processing of freshly harvested salmon and sea trout.

 “The facility will produce whole fresh fish as well as value added products, such as smoked fish products,” Mr Ramsay said.

 Mr Ramsay said the Board approved the proposal subject to certain conditions and restrictions.

 “These include controls on biosecurity, wastewater management and reuse, the management of solid waste and the management of smokehouse emissions to air,” Mr Ramsay said.

 “After careful consideration, the potential for spread of fish diseases between Macquarie Harbour and other fish harvest regions within the State was determined to be low risk providing controls remain in place.”

 “As part of the proposal, the wastewater treatment plant will be redeveloped and commissioned to enable effluent from processing to be treated and reused on the site for the production of ryegrass,” Mr Ramsay said.

 “The reuse of effluent rather than discharging it to a waterway is considered a significant benefit of the proposal. The company will modify its use of salt in the chilling process so that irrigation of effluent will be sustainable in the long term.” 

The redevelopment will replace existing wet processing facilities located at Port Huon and Strahan and will involve the relocation of value adding facilities currently located in South Australia.

One representation was received during the public consultation period.

Mr Ramsay said the EPA's Environmental Assessment Report had drawn on expertise from specialist officers supporting the EPA as well as consultation with other agencies.

The EPA board's environmental assessment, including the conditions that it requires to be attached to any permit issued, has been forwarded to the Latrobe Council. A copy of the assessment report will be available on the internet (here).

The council will make its determination in relation to planning considerations and decide whether to issue a permit.