News and updates

EPA grants works approval for Bolwarra abalone farm

16 Apr 2019

Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) has approved a Works Approval for Yumbah Nyamat to construct a new 1,000 tonne per annum abalone farm at Dutton’s Way, Bolwarra, near Portland.

The decision means Yumbah has EPA approval to develop the abalone farm noting it also needs to satisfy conditions of a planning permission issued to the company by Glenelg Shire Council. It must also comply with a permit under the Marine and Coastal Act Consent issued to the company in February by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.

The Works Approval sets out stringent conditions for the construction phase to ensure the plant meets all environmental performance standards on an ongoing basis. During commissioning of the farm, EPA will also require the company to provide proof of performance testing. Independent verification of construction and proof of performance testing will also be required.

Yumbah will also need to obtain an Aquaculture Licence from the Victorian Fisheries Authority and an EPA Licence to operate the farm once constructed.

The farm will include a hatchery, nursery and grow out tanks, pumping seawater to the land-based farm, before discharging treated water to the bay through a series of outlet pipelines.

EPA Director of Development Assessments Tim Faragher said EPA’s decision follows many months of consultation and a thorough assessment of the company’s application.

“Among other issues, we considered the proposed wastewater treatment system and potential effects of the wastewater discharge, noise, odour, groundwater, the principles of the Environment Protection Act 1970, biosecurity, environmental management and potential risks to human health and the environment through assessment of risks to beneficial uses,” Mr Faragher said. 

“EPA is satisfied the farm can be built in a way that meets stringent environmental standards and will not cause detrimental environmental impacts on the health of the local community.” 

EPA’s detailed assessment report, a summary report and the works approval document is available at

If members of the community object to the issuing of the works approval or its conditions, they can have the decision reviewed by applying in writing within 21 days of the date of issue to:

Registrar, Planning and Environment Division
Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT)
7th Floor, 55 King Street, Melbourne

An application fee may be applicable when lodging an appeal with VCAT. Contact VCAT on (03) 9628 9777 for further details on fees associated with an appeal. A copy of the appeal should also be forwarded, within seven days of lodgement, to:

Director, Development Assessments Unit
Environment Protection Authority Victoria
GPO Box 4395, Melbourne, 3001
If members of the community would like further information, they can contact EPA by emailing or calling 1300 372 842 (1300 EPA VIC).

Works Approvals are required under the Environment Protection Act 1970 for industrial and waste management activities that have the potential for significant environmental impact. The approval permits the construction of the abalone farm and the installation of equipment including pipes, pumphouses, grow out areas, wastewater treatment system and a solar panel plant.

For more information on the Works Approval application process, call 1300 EPA VIC (372 842) or visit:

Page last updated on 16 Apr 2019