The Chicken Factory

FACT SHEETchicken shed
Proposed Broiler Factories on the Moolort Plains, Baringhup in Central Victoria

• Mr Michael Vukadinovic of Pavillion Partners, submitted planning applications for a
• Development that comprised three farms with each farm proposed to process 400,000 birds each, ie.1,200,000 in total, every six weeks.
• Each farm would comprise 8 sheds, 24 in total. 5000 per year truck movements will service the factory

• The applicant claims that there will be local jobs during construction stages and 20+ ongoing jobs, This has not been the experience at other factories where construction temas travel into the area for this stage. If they are built each farm will require 2.5 FTE or 10 on-going jobs in total according to the National Union of Workers. This will not compensate the financial strains or worse that will almost certainly be suffered by local tourist resorts.
• The subject site for the three combined farms / factories is located 2.8 kilometres from the township of Baringhup West and is in a farming zone (FZ). It is bound by Baringhup West Road, Green Lane, Baringhup Havelock Road and an unmade section of O’Keefes Road.
• The proposal is in an area which comprises the environmentally significant Moolort Plains, the landscape of “Romulus My Father” and is surrounded by traditional broad acre farms, residences and the historic Baringhup West Primary School Building.
• Over 900 objections were received for each of the three broiler factories and none were withdrawn.
• The communities of Baringhup, Baringhup West, Maldon, Castlemaine, Carisbrook and surrounds are extremely concerned about the effects that this proposal will have on odour, water quality, noise, visual amenity, indigenous flora and fauna, the environmental sensitivity of the Moolort Plains, road safety, cost of required road upgrades and maintenance, and the economic detriment to tourism and associated accommodation and retail businesses.
• Council considered the planning applications at its meeting on 28 October 2014 and resolved to refuse all three applications. (www.mountalexander.vic.gov.au/council meetings/28 October). Below is an extract from the council resolution:
• … that Council issue a Refusal to Grant a Planning Permit for the use and development of a broiler farm with a capacity of 400,000 birds and associated infrastructure at Crown Allotments 5A3, 5A5, 5B1, 5B2, 5B3, 5B4, Section 4 Parish of Eddington and Crown Allotments 3 and 4, Section 4 Parish of Baringhup under the following grounds:
• 1. The proposal does not comply with Clause 10.02 of the Mount Alexander Planning Scheme as the proposal will not provide for fair, orderly, economic or sustainable use and development of the land.
• 2. The proposal fails to comply with Clause 10.04 (Integrated Decision Making) as the proposal has not demonstrated a ‘net community benefit’ due to offsite impacts of the proposal including economic impacts, vehicle movements, odour, impact on existing landscape and biodiversity.
• 3. The proposal fails to comply with Clause 13.02 (Floodplains) of the Mount Alexander as flood waters from the site will be detrimental to existing catchment areas.
• 4. The proposal fails to comply with Clause 14.01 (Agriculture) as the proposal fails to protect productive agricultural land which is of local significance.
• 5. The proposal does not comply with Clause 21.04-7(Protection of Biodiversity and Landscape) of the Mount Alexander Planning Scheme as the proposal fails to protect the existing biodiversity and landscape surrounding the site.
• 6. The proposal does not comply with Clause 22.13 (Catchment and Land Protection) of the Mount Alexander Planning Scheme as the proposal will result in detriment to the quality of natural resources in the water catchment.
• 7. The proposal fails to comply with Clause 65 of the Mount Alexander Planning Scheme as the proposal will affect the amenity of the area due to increased traffic movements, odour, dust, visual amenity and noise.

• This was a unanimous decision by councillors and in summary it was considered that the applications were inconsistent with the Mount Alexander Planning Scheme and its Municipal Strategic Statement.
• The applicant has since lodged an appeal with the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) against Council’s decision.
• Both the Mount Alexander shire and the community have registered to be heard at VCAT.
• The community has engaged solicitors to represent them at VCAT with the VCAT hearing due to commence on 23 March in Bendigo.
• Legal representation and the engagement of necessary expert witnesses is very costly. A number of community members have made donations to the Baringhup Legal Action Group and a number of fund raising activities are underway.
• Legal costs however will escalate as the VCAT hearing continues as lawyers are paid on a daily rate. In addition to this, the hearing is likely to run for at least 13 days and probably more.
• The chicken factory sheds are massive, they are each the length of the MCG.
• If this development is permitted by VCAT it will represent a blight on the environment of the Moolort Plains Baringhup.
• The community is very passionate about preserving the existing landscape and extremely concerned about the detrimental effect that this proposed development will have on the area if it is allowed to go ahead.
• In order to fight this case at VCAT, the community will have to match the resources of the developer, not an easy task.

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