In response to the community interest on this proposed facility, we have compiled the latest information and a timeline of the approvals process.
Plans in accordance with the incorporated document have been submitted to both the EPA and Council for review and endorsement.
Council has endorsed all plans and documents required under the Incorporated Document to allow Chunxing to commence works on the land.
Council officers attended the site on 20 December 2021 and noted that minor works have been undertaken. We have been in contact with Chunxing and advised that works need to cease on the site and appropriate enforcement action will be taken in relation to this breach.
Chunxing Corporation Pty Ltd is proposing to establish a Used Lead Acid Battery (ULAB) recycling facility at Fourth Rd, Hazelwood North, near Morwell, to process 50,000 tonnes per year of spent lead acid batteries and recycle them into 28,000 tonnes of refined lead per year.
The proposal requires both a works approval from the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and planning approval.
Timeline of events
The EPA issued Chunxing Corporation Pty Ltd with a works approval for the proposal on 31 August 2020.
At a Special Council Meeting on 17 September 2020, Council voted to refuse to grant a planning permit application for the ULAB recycling facility. Council decided that the ULAB recycling facility did not meet the requirements of the Latrobe City Planning Scheme. The decision was made on planning grounds, including taking into consideration amenity impacts.
In response to Council’s decision, Chunxing Corporation Pty Ltd lodged an application with the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT), with the hearing scheduled for 12 to 16 April 2021.
Latrobe Planning Scheme Amendment C129
Battery Recycling Plant in Hazelwood North
On 5 January 2021, Council was notified that the Development Facilitation Program, established by the Victorian Government to assist in the revitalisation of Victoria’s economy during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, had identified the proposed ULAB recycling facility at Fourth Rd, Hazelwood North as a project that had met the criteria for consideration and intervention by the Minister for Planning.
Following consideration of the proposal the Minister for Planning has decided to prepare, adopt and approve the proposal through a Planning Scheme Amendment (Amendment C129).
Amendment C129 was gazetted on 14 January 2021 and introduced the Specific Controls Overlay Schedule 5 (SCO5) to the land at Fourth Road, Hazelwood North to allow the use and development of land for a ULAB recycling facility.