Council to vote on buffer tomorrow


Council to vote on buffer tomorrow


KORUMBURRA residents are fuming as South Gippsland Shire Council looks likely to approve a buffer zone around Burra Foods’ dairy factory tomorrow (Wednesday).

Council will meet in the council chambers in Leongatha to debate whether or not to accept an environmental significance overlay (ESO) that would require residents within 227m of the factory to pay for works to minimise the impact of the factory on their homes.

Works to reduce the effect of noise, power emissions, odour and light from the factory would only apply if residents wish to expand their house’s floorplans by more than 25 per cent.

Council is likely to be watched by a crowd of furious residents, as the debate unfolds.

Council stated the Manufacture of Milk Products Amenity Buffer would inform landowners and prospective buyers the factory has the potential to affect their amenity, and discourage sensitive uses such as childcare within the buffer zone.

Council planners have recommended council adopt the buffer and ask Victorian Planning Minister Richard Wynne to approve it.

Some residents living within the proposed overlay called for authorities to force Burra Foods to address milk power emissions, noise and odour, rather than demand residents take mitigating measures.

Addressing council last Wednesday, objector Neil Olsen dressed in a white suit bearing slogans claiming authorities were favouring Burra Foods.

He created a model of Korumburra using boxes and pipes to demonstrate how he believed factory emissions affected the community.

“No one is going to find out what this odour is coming out of the factory,” Mr Olsen said.

“But if I want to extend my house by 25 per cent, I have to put in a few trees around my garden. I have to double glaze my house. I have to put in sound deadening and a big retaining wall so that I do not get noise and pollution from the factory.”

Another resident, Thea Dent, said councillors were the public’s “elected servants, so can you please do some fair serving”.

She asked council to reject the ESO or delay a decision for 12 months to allow Burra Foods to address emissions issues.

Mayor Cr Jeanette Harding suggested council faced repercussions if it abandoned the ESO.

“We will do the best we can for Korumburra but if we go to court, we will all be paying for it,” she said.

But council’s manager of strategic planning and development Paul Stampton said Burra Foods has no rights of appeal if council abandoned the amendment.

“An applicant could only make representations politically or apply to make the same or similar amendment,” he said.

“There is no cost to council if the amendment is abandoned.”

Burra Foods did not wish to comment on possible further action, nor on residents’ ongoing concerns, until the outcome of tomorrow’s decision was known.

Korumburra resident Paul Rotthier said if Burra Foods complied with its licence, there would be no need for a buffer.

Another resident, Glenn Brown, said the Environment Protection Authority told him it did not enforce action against Burra Foods sooner due to being short staffed.

He said family barbecues, gardening and play-time with children – all activities people enjoy in their yards – were spoilt by factory odours.

Resident Christine McKenzie said she lost the sale of her property after the prospective buyer heard of the possibility of the overlay.

“I urge councillors from outside the Strzelecki Ward to listen to your colleagues and not just follow protocol. You have your own jobs to do,” she said.

Cr Andrew McEwen, a Strzelecki Ward councillor, said council had to balance the interests of the community with that of business.

Cr Bob Newton said Burra Foods had invested millions of dollars and employed hundreds of people.

“I believe we have to support them as much as we can but in saying that, Burra Foods has to tow the line too,” he said.

Council referred the overlay to Planning Panels Victoria and the panel advised council to proceed with it.

Not happy: Korumburra resident Neil Olsen made a model of the township to demonstrate his interpretation of the impacts of emissions from Burra Foods’ factory. He addressed South Gippsland Shire Council last Wednesday.

Not happy: Korumburra resident Neil Olsen made a model of the township to demonstrate his interpretation of the impacts of emissions from Burra Foods’ factory. He addressed South Gippsland Shire Council last Wednesday.

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Posted by on Feb 24 2015. 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

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