CAMPBELLS Forest residents say they are fed up with inaction from Loddon Shire Council over a nearby greyhound breeding facility potentially contaminating local water supplies.
Their dispute over the facility, which houses up to 50 greyhounds at any one time, has stretched for more than 10 years.
In October last year the council voted to reject a permit for the owners to stay at the Oswalds Road site. They had previously been granted a permit in 2006 and 2013, which both expired due to a lack of detail of compliance.
Residents thought the refusal to grant a permit could be the end of the matter, but the owner appealed October’s decision in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
The dogs will remain on the site until the tribunal reaches its decision. The hearings will start on July 8.
Campbells Forest and District Community Action Group member Fred Shea said the dogs are kept within 20 metres of the Kangaroo Creek, which provides water for up to eight dams in the area.
He said it was frustrating they had been kept there for 10 years without a proper permit.
“It’s all well and good to scoop up the poo, but what happens to the run off?” Mr Shea said.
“The noise from the dogs has become a real issue as well. We’re kilometres away but you can still hear them throughout the night.
“If they were interested in trying to make it work best for everyone, then we’d be happy. But it’s just not a good place for a dog run.”
Council recommended to grant another permit for the facility, but councillors overrode the decision after six residents objected.
Their objections centered on noise, environmental impacts, spooking nearby livestock and animal welfare.
Councillor Colleen Condliffe moved that council reject granting another permit because of the lack of information about complying with greyhound breeding codes.
She also noted there was no detail about on-site waste water management and protection of the Kangaroo Creek.
The site layout could also cause conflict with neighbouring farming activities, with the distance to the kennels too small.
The property owner told the Bendigo Advertiser they had adequate waste management on the site, and flatly rejected accusations from Campbells Forest residents.
“It’s true we’ve never had a permit, but we were told that one was not required for this kind of facility on this size of land,” she said.
“We do have waste management as well, the skip is always emptied. We have people who put sheep on our property, so if there was an environmental problem, I doubt people would ask us to do that.
“We’ve abided by everything the council has asked of us.”
Loddon Shire operations officer Ian McLauchlin said the council had recognised the concerns from the residents in its report in October 2015.
He conceded there had been a general “poor management of the site” and the council was preparing its case for VCAT.