Tas dairy giant probed over waste process
Australia's largest dairy company is being investigated by the Tasmanian environment watchdog over issues with effluent management.
The island state's Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is keen to meet with the owner of Van Dairy Limited in relation to nine farms in the northwest.
It comes after a recent audit from the Tasmanian Dairy Industry Authority raised concerns with effluent management at Van Dairy farms.
The Circular Head Council has issued nine environment protection notices to Van Dairy in relation to improvements needed in dairy effluent management.
The council has referred the notices to the EPA to assess the level of compliance, with director Wes Ford now seeking a meeting with Van Dairy's owners.
"The management of dairy effluent impacts beyond the boundary of a farm is normally a matter for a council, however the EPA can involve itself where there are significant allegations of environmental harm," Mr Ford said in a statement.
"I trust that Van Dairy Limited is committed to investing in the appropriate infrastructure and management systems to ensure the dairy effluent is managed in an appropriate and contemporary manner, both in the short and longer term, and I will be engaging with the company on this basis."
Chinese company Moon Lake Investments was in 2018 given the green light by the foreign investment review board to buy Tasmania's Van Diemen's Land Company in a $280 million acquisition.
The company, later renamed Van Dairy, owns 27 farms in Tasmania's northwest.
In a statement released last week, Van Dairy said there had been an issue with effluent ponds overflowing and pumps on several farms.
"(Van Dairy) is undertaking repairs to the effluent ponds and pumping systems identified in council notices," the company said.
"This remedial action is monitored closely by council officers and the company provides the council with regular updates on this remedial work to comply with those notices.
"Most of the urgent repair work will be completed within the next two weeks.
"More intensive works that will provide a permanent solution will be completed by the end of April 2021."
Van Dairy recently had an operation licence for one farm suspended due to an overflowing effluent pond. The licence has since been reinstated.
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