Council gives green light for farm

THE  Central Goldfields Shire approved a controversial expansion of a chicken broiler farm on the Moolort Plains, near Maryborough, on Tuesday. 

Mayor Barry Rinaldi said the Grandview Poultry planning permit to build eight new sheds was passed with four votes in support, two against and one councillor who declared a conflict of interest. 

"We had four residents present their objections," he said. 

"Residents were concerned about the odour, damage to the environment, the building of sheds on farming land and an increase in traffic."

Cr Rinaldi said objectors could take the decision to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.  

The new sheds will house up to 380,000 birds. 

A group of Lockwood residents are also lobbying the state government to stop "concerning" irrigation plans at another chicken farm . 

In the past three months, Hazeldene's has been working with a local farmer to set up two irrigators on his property, which will use treated class-C waste water or better from the chicken farm. 

Lockwood Clean Living steering committee member Sarah Poyser said a seven-page letter detailing concerns had been presented to the Environment Minister Ryan Smith. 

She said more than 30 people had signed the letter. Concerns include the waste water getting into waterways and nearby dams, as well as the possible odour caused. 

"We genuinely have concerns for our quality of life," Ms Poyser said. "This is waste water that will be sprayed near my property - water that is prohibited from being used on my vegetable patch, or even in my toilet. 

"Hazeldene's says it won't get on my property but I am not certain of that guarantee."

She said residents were notified of the plans after irrigation pumps had been set up. 

"We had no idea anything was going on," she said. "I believe they were planning to use the spray without authority from the Environment Protection Authority."

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