Broiler project angers locals concerned about health and environmental risks

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A community group in southwestern Victorian times fears that a broiler project capable of housing 400,000 chickens could compromise an important river system.

Rokewood Livestock Farms has applied to the Golden Plains Shire Council for permission to build the broiler farm in Mount Mercer, 30 minutes south of Ballarat.

A group of local residents formed the Shelford and District Environment and Amenity Alliance to oppose the farm on environmental grounds.

Group spokeswoman Carolyn Morton said she was concerned that runoff from the farm would end up polluting the Barwon and Leigh rivers.

“I’m not impressed, not at all impressed,” Ms. Morton said.

“The effluent discharged into the Leigh River will not only impact the immediate watershed, but also the Barwon River up to Geelong.”

A broiler farm raises animals, usually chickens, specifically for human consumption.

The proposal outlines plans for the construction of eight sheds that can accommodate up to 50,000 chickens each.

The farm would cost around $ 6 million to build on a site currently used for growing and ranching.

Community effluent management plan

The company’s permit application details construction plans for the eight broiler sheds in a tunnel formation with “minimal ventilation.”

The attached planning reports revealed that the broiler farm would occupy only a small part of the existing land, with the rest of the block continuing to be used for crops and livestock grazing.

A director of the consulting firm that assists the broiler farm promoters, Jack Kraan, told the ABC the promoters are aware of the community’s concerns.

This photo of a broiler farm was included in the planning permit application for the proposed farm.(Provided)

“We addressed the concerns of the community at a recent board meeting and do not wish to make any additional comments,” Mr. Kraan said.

The Shelford and District Environment and Amenity Alliance, however, questioned the environmental plans for the permit and raised concerns that major waterways could be at risk, due to the farm’s proximity to estuaries. smaller.

“Chickens need good, clean water,” Ms. Morton said.

Ms Morton said the site was a known floodplain that emptied into the Leigh River.

“Running away… must be taken into account,” she said.

“The Leigh River is a known recreational fishery. The Barwon River is a water sports paradise.

“The public safety and hygiene of these rivers are closely linked.

A broiler chicken
This photo of broiler chickens was attached to the company’s planning permission.(Provided)

The Golden Plains Shire board will assess the proposal at its next meeting.

“The recently announced planning permission application included information on the amount of water required by the proposed facility,” a council spokesperson said.

“The Board understands that the applicant has also filed an application with Southern Rural Water.”

The permit is expected to be discussed at the August county meeting.


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