Concerned local residents have lodged their opposition to a proposed poultry hatchery at Lot 6/1051 Coonabidgee Road, Muckenburra in the Shire of Gingin.
A planning report was submitted to the Shire on behalf of Ingams Enterprises PTY Ltd Ingams Group (Inghams) on 22 January as a part of the proposal to build a 1.5 million bird hatchery on the property, along with a caretaker’s dwelling.
The site is currently zoned General Rural-GR40 and the development would require planning approval to allow Intensive Animal Husbandry.
Residents in the vicinity, including immediate neighbours, are opposed to the development for several reasons. These include: potential environmental damage, increased traffic, reduced road safety on Coonabidgee Road, and potential negative impact to property values and quality of life in the surrounding area.
Landholder Sharon Samata has set up a Facebook group, ‘Coonabidgee Hatchery’ to garner support to have the proposal rejected.
“The proposed building covers an area of 8248 sqm at a height of approximately 10.5 meters. This is a massive building and very much out of character for the area. It will stand out for miles around and will be an eyesore for the area.
“Add to that all the ancillary facilities plus the inevitable expansion that will come sooner or later and we will all have a massive factory in the middle of a rural environment. It just makes no sense to approve such development,” she said.
While the development propposal claims that there will be no noise or odour emanating from the hatchery, Sharon and her group disagree.
“Our experience with large scale poultry operations is that they are smelly, noisy and bad for health, particularly with airborne bacteria. On hot days and with the right winds these can be carried for distances far in excess of what the developers suggest.
“We see the hatchery as just another aspect of poultry processing,” she stated.
David Rickson, Chairperson, Gingin Water Group (GWG) has also issued a response to the proposal – urging the Shire to take the Gingin Brook into consideration.
“Gingin Water Group points out that water levels are falling in many locations across the Gingin Shire. The Muckenburra region is particularly sensitive in this regard.
“The environmental and social value of water across the wetland catchment is fundamental to the existence of the local population that has been allowed to live on the hundreds of small landholdings that have been created across this zone from the eastern sources of the various brooks through to the coast.
“Over the last decade or so intensive industry and horticulture has been allowed to move into this mix.
“GWG urges the Gingin Shire and land use planning authorities to make a more concerted effort to put the interests of the local residents first in all future development applications. GWG suggests closer consultation between neighbouring properties and proposed high intensive development projects, particularly where water is involved.”
Public consultation took place from 11 February 2019 until 4 March 2019, and was then extended to 12 March 2019. The proposal was advertised on the Shire’s website, Facebook page, a Public Notice was placed on-site, and all adjoining land owners were notified via letter.
While the official deadline to submit public comment to the Shire has closed, the group are urging those who are opposed to the hatchery to join their facebook page, ‘Coonabidgee Hatchery’ to keep in touch with the next step.
The Shire of Gingin are collating public response which will be presented to the Mid-West/Wheatbelt Joint Development Assessment Panel (JDAP), who will make the final decision.
A date for the meeting has not yet been determined. When a meeting date is set, it will be publicized on the Shire’s website and Facebook page with the agenda.