Liberal Member for Western Victoria Simon Ramsay has called for the City of Greater Geelong to reassess its Lara Structure Plan and its current planning zones given residential housing growth in the Lara area.
Mr Ramsay said he met with concerned Lara residents at the proposed site for a goat milk and meat-processing factory that would accommodate 4500 goats under an intensive farming regime.
While technically this proposal might meet the activities of a farming zone, it does not meet the directions of ‘preserving the rural, environmental and landscape qualities of the area’. Nor does it meet the criteria of ‘consideration to preserving landscape values’ under the current structure plan directions.
“It’s ridiculous to encourage an intensive animal industry to establish its operation within 150 metres of established residential housing. I have already raised the concerns of residents regarding a potential spread of Q Fever from the proposed goat factory with the Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford in Parliament last week. I am still waiting for her response.
I understand the Nuchev Group has a planning permit application before the City of Greater Geelong to build a goat milk processing plant at 240 Forrest Road South with little buffer zone between the Geelong Ring Road Employment Precinct and the Lara Township.
The planning zones and planning processes might be best handled by the Geelong Authority, which reports to the Minister, if approval of this application proceeds.
Residents are rightly concerned by the possible impacts of this newly proposed industry being established close to them; bringing increased heavy traffic, noise, animal odour, effluent contamination and potential health hazards.
The City of Greater Geelong could take a leaf out of its LGA neighbour, the Golden Plains Shire that has preserved a well-buffered food precinct of 7000 acres, which has water and power connections specifically for the intensive animal industries that won’t impact on neighbours.
“Perhaps the Nuchev Group should consider taking its goats there” Mr Ramsay said