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Broiler farm opposition boils over

OPPONENTS to a proposed 400,000 bird broiler farm at Wooreen have been told their claims about the farm “could not be substantiated”.

Last Wednesday, the South Gippsland Shire Council heard from both sides with regards to the controversial proposal.

The council will vote on the planning application at this Wednesday’s council meeting.

The objectors, who have called themselves the Wooreen Warriors, were most concerned with odour, dust, noise, the possible contamination of waterways and the impacts of the farm on the environment and local wildlife.

Kath Goller lives around 1200 metres, “immediately down hill, down wind and down stream” from the proposed farm.

She said the council’s delegation report dismissed her concerns and objections to the proposal, because they live outside the minimum separation distance of 686 metres.

“The broiler code clearly states broiler farms cannot rely solely on boundary setbacks and separation distances to avoid off site impacts,” she said.

“This proposal is neither well located, nor sited. It is completely inappropriate for this area.”

Ms Goller has lived on her Wooreen property for almost 20 years and is happiest when working outdoors, especially around Boyle Creek, which runs through her property.

“I came here for the peace and quiet, the natural beauty, the clean air, the creek and to enjoy a lifestyle connected with nature,” she said.

“I did not come here to live over the road from an industrial sized, noisy, smelly, polluting, unsustainable and inhumane factory farm.”

Proponent Chris Freney from Chicken Farms Australia and Jack Kraan from Focus CDS Consultants also presented to council last Wednesday.

Mr Kraan said the proposal meets the requirements of the broiler code, despite some of the Wooreen Warriors claiming otherwise and that most of the claims made by objectors could not be substantiated.

“The proposal complies with all of the required measures and all the objectives and standards highlighted in the code are also met,” he said.

“The objectors are misunderstanding the requirements (off the broiler code) and have made general and sweeping statements with no justification.”

Mr Kraan said the farm will operate to RSPCA approved standards, which would mean no more than 17 birds per square metre.

He said the RSPCA audits chicken farms twice a year and if it is found to be non compliant, that farm would most likely lose its contract with its processor.

“The 20 birds per square metre that was referred to, is the old standard and no longer applies to the industry,” he said.

“We will ensure bird numbers do not exceed 400,000.”

Because the farm will have no more than 400,000 birds, an odour environmental risk assessment (ERA) was not required.

Cr Meg Edwards said it wasn’t in anyone’s interest for the proposal to go to VCAT and said an odour ERA could be considered if it would help to overcome the concerns of objectors.

“There is no requirement, so we wouldn’t intend to (complete the ERA). It is a very costly exercise and it wouldn’t achieve very much,” Mr Kraan said.

Cr Jeremy Rich asked why the Wooreen location had been selected for the proposed farm.

Mr Freney said it is difficult to find a site in Victoria that complies with the requirements of developing a broiler farm.

“The site picked me,” he said.

Little warriors: John and James Kirton from Wooreen are concerned about the proposed broiler farm for Wooreen.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=22677

Posted by on Sep 26 2017. Filed under Featured, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

1 Comment for “Broiler farm opposition boils over”

  1. Just wondering what sort of chicken do little warriors eat? Straight from their own coop? Or those which ‘grow’ on supermarket shelves?

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