NSW Department of Planning and Environment

Veolia Woodlawn ARC

Woodlawn Advanced Energy Recovery Centre

Veolia Environmental Services proposes to develop and operate the Woodlawn Advanced Energy Recovery Centre (ARC), an energy recovery facility that would produce up to 30 megawatts of electrical energy from approximately 380,000 tonnes of residual waste feedstock each year.

The facility would be integrated with the existing waste management operations owned and operated by Veolia at the Woodlawn Eco Precinct, located approximately 40 km south of Goulburn in NSW.

The proposed facility is designed to recover energy from residual waste that will otherwise be disposed to landfill. The proposed development would be one of the first of its kind in New South Wales.

The facility has a capital investment value of approximately $600 million and is defined as State significant development.

What is the status of the proposal?

The department has issued the Planning Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Requirements (SEARs), so the applicant may prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the development. 

The SEARs require the EIS to include a detailed analysis and assessment of the impacts of the proposal, including cumulative impacts.

The SEARs also require a justification of site suitability to be provided, having regard to the proposal’s potential environmental impacts, site constraints and compatibility with existing surrounding land uses.

A key requirement in the SEARs is for the proposal to comply with the strict new air quality and operating standards set out in the EPA’s updated Energy from Waste Policy Statement (2021). The new emissions standards in the Policy have been reviewed by the NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer to ensure they meet and/or exceed world’s best practice.

What consultation will occur?

The department requires an applicant to carry out community consultation activities before the EIS is lodged.

At a minimum, Veolia is required to prepare a detailed community and stakeholder participation strategy, which identifies who in the community has been consulted and a justification for their selection, other stakeholders consulted and the form(s) of the consultation, including justification for the approach. 

Once the department receives the EIS, we will place it on public exhibition and invite feedback from the community, government agencies, councils and other stakeholders. Your feedback helps us better understand your priorities and concerns and helps us during our assessment of the proposal.

What key issues are considered during the assessment process?

The department will undertake a thorough merit-based assessment of the proposal in consultation with the community and key stakeholders, including Goulburn Mulwaree Council and State government agencies such as the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and NSW Health. This will ensure potential impacts to the environment and risk to human health are appropriately considered.

 

To assist with its assessment, the department has engaged three independent experts in the fields of energy from waste technology and waste management, human health risk and odour.

The department’s assessment will consider the objects of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EP&A Act) and the matters to be considered by a consent authority listed in Section 4.15 of the EP&A Act. 

The assessment will involve consideration of:

  • consistency with the EPA’s Energy from Waste Policy Statement (2021) and the NSW Government’s Energy from Waste Infrastructure Plan (2021)
  • the likely impacts of the proposal, including environmental impacts on the natural and built environment and the social and economic impacts in the locality
  • the suitability of the site for the development
  • the benefits of the proposal
  • submissions from the public, special interest groups and government authorities
  • advice from independent experts
  • the relevant State policies, strategies and plans
  • the current need for waste management infrastructure in NSW
  • whether the proposal is in the public interest.

More information

All documentation related to the proposed Woodlawn Advanced Energy Recovery Centre are available on our Major Projects website.

You can also read our FAQs on energy from waste technology.

To read more about the NSW Government’s policy framework for energy recovery facilities:

How to participate

We encourage you to sign up for project updates through our Major Projects website. On the project page click on “Notify Me” to receive email alerts and stay up-to-date about the progress of applications.

You can also subscribe to notifications of all projects in a particular local government area, or by development type. Create an account and navigate to “Manage Subscriptions” to get started.