Thomas Foods International (TFI)
In June 2020, Thomas Foods International Pty Ltd (TFI) received development approval (415/25/2020) to build a stock production and meat processing facility at 191 Temora Way, Pallamana, 10 kms outside of Murray Bridge. The previous facility was destroyed by a fire on 3 January 2018.
TFI has commenced the rebuild of its processing plant, however prior to operating the facility, TFI is required to hold an EPA authorisation (licence).
The EPA received an application from TFI on 30 May 2022 requesting a licence to conduct meat processing and fuel burning at the new facility. TFI will apply for additional activities that were approved through the development application process when further stages of the development are constructed.
As part of assessing the licence application, the EPA considered what controls are required to manage potential off-site impacts.
The EPA has included licence conditions to ensure the management of odour, wastewater (including irrigation) and noise are addressed through the licence to minimise the risk to the environment and the community.
It is also a requirement of the licence that TFI develop and implement a community engagement plan.
Stage 1 and the EPA licence
The facility will be built in a staged approach based on its capacity and economic demand.
Commissioning of Stage 1 has commenced and construction will likely be completed by November 2022.
The following activities will be licensed by the EPA:
- Meat processing facilities (with an initial capacity of up to 600 head per day).
- Fuel burning (for the boiler systems).
Subsequent stages of the development will include further expansion of the beef facilities and additional small stock processing capacity (sheep and lambs). At a future stage a new rendering plant and composting facility will be constructed. The EPA will be notified of the timing of these subsequent stages through application for additional activities on the licence.The EPA will notify the community and provide an opportunity to comment when these applications are made.
The plant, once fully completed, is expected to have total processing capacity of 1,200 head of beef and 15,000 head of small stock per day.
Management of environmental impacts
The Evaluation distances for effective air quality and noise management guideline indicates that the facility should be located at least 1 km away from dwellings. The TFI facility (excluding existing lagoons) is in the order of 1.5 km from the nearest non-TFI dwelling. As part of the development application, odour modelling was commissioned and reviewed in accordance with the EPA’s ‘Ambient Air Quality Assessment’ and the Environment Protection (Air Quality) Policy 2016.
The site will be regulated by the EPA for compliance against strict protocols with respect to odour, wastewater management and noise.
In particular, the EPA will require a commissioning plan for the wastewater treatment system. This will ensure that wastewater processes are managed appropriately and in accordance with the design of the facility as the new parts of the system are being brought online. This is designed to avoid the issues that occurred when the Pahl farm was initially commissioned.
TFI held a community engagement session in Murray Bridge in 2021 where the EPA, council and TFI were present. This was an opportunity to view the design of the facility and seek clarification.
The EPA has provided a public notification of the application through this webpage, advertised in the newspaper, and sent a flyer to local residents living near the new facility. The EPA held a community information session at the Bridgeport Hotel in Murray Bridge on Tuesday 9 August 2022.
Further community updates will be provided. You are encouraged to contact the EPA or TFI directly if detailed information is required.
For all enquiries regarding the licence, please contact the EPA on 8204 2004 or email. This line is answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in the case of an emergency. If the matter is non-urgent you will have your call returned during business hours.
For information on the facility please visit TFI website, or contact 8165 5100.