Huntly piggery’s $3 million plan

Picture: ANDREW MEARES
Picture: ANDREW MEARES

RelatedBendigo backs broiler farms, piggeries

A Huntly piggery is set for a $3 million expansion which the company says would allow it to employ at least seven more people. 

The Rivalea Australia piggery has lodged an application to the City of Greater Bendigo which would see it build five new farrowing sheds and add more than 2800 pigs to the nearly 38,500 on site. 

But the company said the proposed changes would likely lead to an “improvement in odour impact on nearby residents”.

That is because the new sheds would change the land use on site from a “birth to bacon” model to a “breeder” production system.

Currently pigs fated for slaughter are kept on site until being sent to the abattoir. 

Under the proposed changes, the focus would instead be on breeding sows, with piglets kept on site for 26-days after birth until being shipped off to contracted farms to be raised. 

The Corowa-based intensive animal producer said the change would allow the company to boost its overall herd size. 

The Huntly site currently employs 75 people and said it would create seven or eight new full-time positions if the development application were approved. 

Rivalea is hoping to begin construction early next year and estimates a build time of two to three months.  

The five sheds would each cover an area of 95 metres by 15 metres. 

There are five residents living within approximately 2 kilometres of the proposed farrowing sheds, but Rivalea said there had been no recorded complaints to the company, council or the EPA in more than 15 years. 

The previous council looked to attract intensive animal producers to the Greater Bendigo region. In March it called on the state government to provide the sector greater certainty through the Victoria’s land planning system.

Intensive animal industries make up most of the area’s food production and processing sector, which is worth about $500 million in total output to the local economy.