The Environment Protection Authority needs to intervene and investigate the impacts of a wrongly approved commercial–scale poultry shed at Lalla, as controversy continues to grow over the Launceston City Council’s actions, Greens Leader and Member for Bass Kim Booth MP said today.
“The poultry shed, approximately 1000m2 in size, has been constructed apparently due to a failure in proper planning and assessment processes, which now sees the Council in the absurd position of having to consider retrospective approvals at Monday’s meeting,” Mr Booth said.
"I inspected the site and surrounding area this weekend, and met with affected locals.”
“The construction of a massive poultry shed, sited between two creeks which are part of the Pipers Rivers headwaters catchment, and close to other legitimate residential and business users is gob smacking and downright negligent.”
"Launceston City Council’s abject failure to properly carry out required planning functions associated with intensive agricultural operations, and it's negligent attitude towards it's responsibilities to control water pollution requires intervention by the state government."
“Apparently the Council deemed the proposed shed an agricultural use in a Rural Resource Zone and therefore impacts upon nearby homes or the permanent waterways bounding the site did not need to be considered. No environmental impact assessment was undertaken.”
“When it was discovered that the shed violated the Council’s rules on the required 500 metre attenuation distance for a no permit required use, work on the shed was suspended, and now they are hastily looking at a retrospective discretionary permit to cover the flawed process and allow poultry to be housed in the shed.”
"The Greens believe there is a clear case for the EPA to step in, and assess the impacts that the proposed agricultural practices of housing thousands of chooks barely 20 metres from permanent waterways will have, and protect farmers downstream from the inevitable pollution of their drinking, stock and irrigation water."
"We are calling on the Minister for Local Government to step in and investigate the Council’s failure to properly carry out it's planning functions by allowing the construction of a massive poultry shed without proper assessment and then attempting to retrospectively approve it.”
"Should this massive chookery proceed there is no doubt that it will threaten the financial viability and livelihood of nearby farming and tourism businesses, including an organic blueberry farm and the incredible heritage pear walk bed and breakfast."
"The local community will also suffer from the revolting stench of ammonia and hydrogen sulphide permeating the winter air all of which could be avoided by proper processes."
"Everyone I spoke to supported the poultry development in the right place, where it would not risk permanent waterways, and allow other noise and air pollution impacts to be mitigated."
"Both the farmer and the neighbours have been shafted by Launceston City Council’s gross failure in administration which is causing well founded distress in the beautiful rural community of Lalla,” Mr Booth said.