Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

Council Split on Chicken Venture

Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

Council Split on Chicken Venture

Article excerpt

Byline: JEREMY SOLLARS

A CHICKEN hatchery which will irrigate nearly eight million litres of wastewater every year upstream of Allora was given the go-ahead at a council planning meeting in Warwick yesterday.

The plan by Darwalla Milling for a million bird a week hatching operation next to Dalrymple Creek Co from which the Best Little Town on the Downs draws its drinking water supplies Co was approved after a tense five against three vote of Southern Downs Regional councillors.

This was despite almost all present, including Mayor Ron Bellingham and senior council officers, agreeing the site on Bradfields Rd was far from ideal, being on the floodplain close to Allora.

The planning committee vote yesterday needs to be ratified at next week's general council meeting, but planning department director Ken Harris made it clear council would have no firm legal leg to stand on if it turned down the plan.

Darwalla operates poultry farms at Talgai and Clifton from where eggs will be taken to the Allora site, which will eventually incubate and hatch a million chicks every week.

The chicks will not be fed at the hatchery and will be moved on four times a week to growing facilities elsewhere.

A report to councillors yesterday outlined a plan by Darwalla to irrigate surrounding pasture for cropping with the 7.8 million litres of wastewater the hatchery will produce every year once it reaches full production.

Waste products of chicken hatcheries include dead chicks, infertile eggs, egg shells and yolks, with the irrigation water having been used to clean out the massive 5000 sqm shed proposed.

To page 4.

COUNCIL officers yesterday admitted there had been a C[pounds sterling]mix-upC[yen] with information placed on public display, conceding that the daily volume of wastewater to be used for irrigation would be 30,000 litres and not 4000 as had been stated.

Around 20 objections were lodged against the hatchery, with a common thread being fears over contamination of Allora's water supply caused by seepage of wastewater into the underground water table. …

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