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 40km south of Goulburn in New South Wales.

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 the state.

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

What is the status of the proposal?

The department issued the Planning Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Requirements (SEARs) in July 2021. The SEARs set out the key issues the applicant must assess in its Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

The applicant has prepared an EIS for the development and the department is publicly exhibiting the EIS, inviting public submissions and seeking advice from government authorities on the proposal. The proposal is being exhibited from Wednesday 26 October to Tuesday 6 December 2022.

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 best practice.

What consultation will occur?

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

As part of the EIS, 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.

During the department’s public exhibition, we invite feedback from the community, government agencies, councils and other stakeholders. Your feedback helps us better understand your concerns.

Veolia is required to continue its engagement with the community during the public exhibition period and respond to issues raised in submissions received by the department during the public exhibition.

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 risks 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 consider:

  • the proposal's 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 is 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

Sign up for project updates through our Major Projects website. On the project page, select 'Notify Me' to receive email alerts and stay up to date about the progress of applications.

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Page last updated: 25/10/2022