Feedlot plan on the nose

By MADELEINE LOGAN

"TELL 'em they're dreaming", Trevor Davies begged his neighbours yesterday. During an impassioned speech to a crowd of 70, the Killarney businessman appropriated the trademark quote from Australian movie The Castle. "These are good, honest people affected and we're not going to let big boys bully us around," he said. "We don't want feedlot valley to be built on our slice of heaven." "'Em" (in this case) is Professional Investment Cattle, a Gold Coast-based company that has submitted an application to build a 1700 standard cattle unit (SCU) feedlot on the Bourkes Road property Belvedere. The strains of John Williamson's True Blue rang out across the hillside as the crowd gathered 750 metres from the proposed feedlot site. The crowd was directed to the meeting by signs on the Warwick-Killarney Road, which screamed the claims, in large red lettering, that feedlots equaled smell, devalued properties, noise, building restrictions, dust and Condamine River pollution. Yesterday Mr Davies said the area had become a hub for life-stylers and retirees. "They won't have time to rock in their chairs while they are busy swatting flies," he said. Millicent Browne said the feedlot would spoil the area her family had called home for five generations. Her grand-daughter Loretta Kelly, 9, doesn't know a whole lot about the feedlot proposal, but is convinced "it will stink". She made a colourful protest sign to take to the meeting. "It's a disgrace," she said. The gathering follows a major community campaign, led by Goomburra residents, which defeated a proposed 999-SCU feedlot in the valley. The applicants, the Nolan family, recently reduced their proposal to a 499-SCU development and have re-submitted. If approved, the Loch Lomond feedlot would turn out 170 cattle a week to be processed at the Killarney Abattoir. A 999-SCU feedlot, about a kilometre away from the new proposal, was approved late last year. There were no objections to that development. Division three councillor Ross Bartley said he was undecided on the Bourke's Road proposal. "I will wait until the official reports are completed, review all the facts and make a sensible decision," he said. Fellow division three representative Ken Armstrong agreed. "I understand everybody's concerns and emotions ? this has just got to go through the process," he said. Councillors Doug Cutmore, Desleigh Clarson and Cliff Farrell also attended the meeting. Feedlot objections need to be submitted to council's chief executive officer, Rod Ferguson, by January 31. More tomorrow.



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