Supreme Court issues orders on Vista Estates

Ballarat developer Vista Estate Pty Ltd has been ordered by the Supreme Court to do all works reasonably practicable to reduce the risk of sediment discharge into the Yarrowee River by 25 November 2022, after EPA Victoria took legal action to ensure the river is protected during the construction of a housing estate in Brown Hill.

The Supreme Court's interim orders also include maintaining freeboard water to minimum level of 500mm between rainfall events, and undertaking water quality monitoring of storm water and sediment discharges. The interim order remains in place whilst the case continues through the Court.

EPA CEO Lee Miezis welcomed the interim orders and said the court's decision was a good ''first step on the road to compliance''.

''This is a vital step forward , but we still have a way for go,'' said Mr Miezis. ''Protecting the river is our main goal and we will use the powers we have to do so. We expect all businesses to do their part in protecting the environment and so does the community. We are committed to pursuing enforcement action to achieve the best outcome possible for local communities and the environment''

Developer, Vista Estate Pty Ltd, is building a housing estate on an 18-hectare site at Hillview Rd, in the Brown Hill area of Ballarat. EPA alleges sediment is running off the site polluting the nearby Yarrowee River.

EPA is seeking final orders that include civil penalties and an injunction using the General Environmental Duty provisions in the Environment Protection Act 2017. The injunction sought would require Vista to conduct manual extraction and disposal of sediment as detailed in Vista's Remediation Plan as soon as it is safe to do so, install multiple silt curtains of decreasing porosity downstream from the remediation work; and stop the remediation work if downstream turbidity exceeds a nominated value.

The next hearing is scheduled for 22 February, 2023

/Public Release. This material from the originating organization/author(s) might be of the point-in-time nature, and edited for clarity, style and length. Mirage.News does not take institutional positions or sides, and all views, positions, and conclusions expressed herein are solely those of the author(s).View in full here.