Residents near Plenty River demand environmental action

In Community, Featured Home Page News, Momentum, Tasmania

The newly-incorporated Upper Plenty Action Group has raised concerns that water from the Plenty River could be contaminated by the environmentally irresponsible actions of a composting company.

The group plans to personally deliver an open letter to the EPA on Friday, demanding the environmental watchdog liaise with other authorities to “coordinate ongoing regulation” of the site.

“We want local governments and the EPA to strengthen the guidelines,” group president Fiona Beer said.

“The odour is foul. You can taste it, you can smell it, you can’t hang your clothes out on the washing line.

The Tourism News Related Stories

Federal Labor $20m plan to expand River Derwent ferry trial

Minister slams local councils stance on a proposed road upgrade

Unconformity back in 2023

from the mercury

A GROUP of concerned Derwent Valley residents is demanding action over what it says are the environmentally irresponsible actions of a composting company near the Plenty River that deals with human faeces, liquid fish waste and paper sludge.

The newly-incorporated Upper Plenty Action Group said the rural locality was besieged by a “putrid” smell and raised concerns water from the Plenty River could be contaminated

On Monday, the Mercury reported that the Environmental Protection Authority had slapped Brightsides composting site, owned by Jenkins Hire, with a compliance notice following more than 19 odour complaints lodged from January to April this year.

In the notice, EPA director Wes Ford said officers visiting the site found a “significant stockpile consisting of a mixture of liquid controlled wastes and biomass” that weren’t windrowed correctly, leading to “offensive odours”.

But the Upper Plenty Action Group said more needed to be done to improve environmental practices around the Plenty River.

The group plans to personally deliver an open letter to the EPA on Friday, demanding the environmental watchdog liaise with other authorities to “coordinate ongoing regulation” of the site.

“We want local governments and the EPA to strengthen the guidelines,” group president Fiona Beer said.

“The odour is foul. You can taste it, you can smell it, you can’t hang your clothes out on the washing line.

“I live 1.5km out and I can smell it. It smells putrid – it’s a rotting smell of animal decay.”

Dr Beer said the community was also concerned about water quality in the Plenty River and any potential contamination.

Brightsides Composting Plant owned by Jenkins Hire at Plenty near the Plenty River. Picture Chris Kidd

Brightsides Composting Plant owned by Jenkins Hire at Plenty near the Plenty River. Picture Chris Kidd

The composting facility previously came under investigation by the EPA following an alleged wastewater spill in September 2020 said to have caused the deaths of more than 130,000 fish.

Following the investigation, the EPA said it was satisfied the situation had been rectified.

Environment Minister Roger Jaensch said the Tasmanian government was aware of the case.

“The matters relating to the composting facility are for the EPA to take action on, while matters associated with the general land spreading of composted material is a matter for the Derwent Valley Council,” he said.

“The government has confidence in the current environmental laws.”

The council said it was unable to comment.

The Mercury has made repeated attempts to seek comment from Jenkins Hire.

You may also read!

Ali Thompson appointed as Visit Sunshine Coast’s new Business & Leisure Events Manager

Ali Thompson, a highly experienced business events and tourism executive, has been appointed Business & Leisure Events Manager for

Read More...

Travelex announces creation of 1,200 new international jobs

FX leader wins new contracts across Asia-Pacific, Europe, Middle East and UK as travel industry continues to recover; new

Read More...

Domino impact of flight cancellations

With airline schedules still not fully back and last minute flight cancellations a frequent occurrence, more and more Australians

Read More...

Mobile Sliding Menu