Hazeldene plans under fire

PLANS to use recycled water from Hazeldene's chicken farm on a neighbouring property has been met with caution from bordering residents. 

Over the last three months, Hazeldene's has been working with a local farmer to set-up two pivot irrigators on his property, which will use treated Class C water or better.

While Hazeldene's says there are strict guidelines over the quality and use of the water, neighbouring residents hold contamination fears. 

Ron and Jennifer Shepherd say residents are "horrified" by the amount of waste water being sprayed. "(We have concerns) as it is far too close to the residential areas and the risk of contamination into all our dams would be too great," they said. 

They also have concerns about devaluation of properties in the area and the lack of consultation with residents. 

"(A meeting organised by Hazeldene's) explained very little and there was no guarantee of waste water quality or the contained foul odours and smells."

However Marong resident Karel Zegers said truth should prevail. 

"People that stand up and purport to represent the community must above all speak the truth and be willing to discuss and debate the issue at hand," he said. 

"This group spreads half-truths, misinformation and even lies.

"They claim droplets can travel five kilometres but this just isn't true unless there was a tornado."

Hazeldene's has committed to installing drainage ditches in particular areas and planting fence-line trees to catch spray drift.

It will also test nearby water quality to ensure it is not impacted. 

Environment and sustainability manager Nick Barber said Hazeldene's would not operate the irrigation system until the company had approval from the Environment Protection Authority. 

"The legal buffer distances of 50 metres to surface water and 100 metres to houses would be met by the plan," he said. 

The EPA is currently reviewing the environment improvement plan for the application; however no licences have been issued. 

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