Chicken operation ruffles feathers

Chicken growing sheds similar to those above are proposed for a site at Elbow Valley. The average Aussie eats nearly 40 kilos of chicken a year.
Chicken growing sheds similar to those above are proposed for a site at Elbow Valley. The average Aussie eats nearly 40 kilos of chicken a year. Contributed

A COURT action over a controversial chicken farm proposal at Elbow Valley east of Warwick has been set down for a hearing in October.

An application for a meat chicken growing operation at Elbow Valley east of Warwick, fattening nearly three million birds at a time, was approved in part by council in December, with council downgrading the operation from 48 sheds to 28.

Each shed would house 60,000 chickens at any time, with neighbouring property owners objecting on the grounds of odour, dust, vehicle movements and water contamination issues.

The Carr Farming Trust launched an appeal against the council in the Planning and Environment Court of Queensland, in a bid to overturn what it says are excessively onerous conditions.

Grounds of the appeal include a claim that the proposed application provides adequate environmental controls.

A council spokeswoman yesterday confirmed the case had been mentioned in the court on May 2, saying the matter was "in the preliminary stages only".

"A court order has been issued outlining dates for various matters including disclosure, inspections, notification of experts, meeting of experts and without prejudice conference," the spokeswoman said.

"The appeal is to be mentioned for review on August 31 and is listed for hearing in October."

Most Planning and Environment Court appeals are settled through negotiation, but the matter will still cost ratepayers through legal and experts' bills.

The retail poultry industry is worth nearly $4.5 billion a year nationally.

Topics:  chickens, council, court, elbow valley, environment, farm



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