Residents fear feedlot will have ‘immense’ impact on land
A PROPOSED cattle feedlot has become the topic of contention in rural Goondiwindi, following concerns from nearby neighbours.
If approved, a 999 standard cattle unit (SCU) feedlot would be developed on 707 Scudamores Rd, 20km from the Goondiwindi CBD, with water being sourced from four underground bores.
Neighbour Andrew Stewart, whose house is 1km from the site, has run a small cattle and wheat operation on the land for 22 years, in the hopes that one day he may be able to pass it onto his two children.
Now he worries his hard work could be rendered pointless.
"It's one of those things where you work all your lives to build up an asset for your kids and now I wonder will they want to come here if it's right next to a feedlot," Mr Stewart said.
He fears the feedlot could bring increased traffic, noise and smell to the quiet area.
According to the town planning report submitted by applicants Ryan and Rebecca McDonald, a maximum of 2-3 extra vehicles would use the road daily, and "south west" winds would reduce the odour of the feedlot.
But Mr Stewart is less convinced.
"Our prevailing winds are not south west - they come from the north and north east and we have weather data to show that - those south westerly winds occur more so in winter time," he said.
"The north east wind blows straight into town and they will cop it, particularly at night-time when the air is damp - it is really going to pong."
However, his main concern, like many others, was water.
Fellow neighbour Suzanne Andersen said the underground water supply was already running on borrowed time.
"We're still drought declared … our bore levels have not been replenished," she said.
"Neighbours have already had their pumps dry out so it's an extra strain on limited levels.
"Water is precious. If we don't have water out here, we can't live out here."
When Mrs Andersen bought her house in 1997, there were three other properties along the road - in 2020, there are 13 other small farms connected to the road.
She said 90 per cent of those residents would be placing formal submissions against the development.
"To have a "intensive animal industry" in a rural residential area is concerning," she said.
"The effect on our small farmlets is going to be immense.
"None of us are against progress, we all employee locally, but we come out here for a bit of peace and quiet. We like our idyllic lifestyle."
Applicants Ryan and Rebecca McDonald are Goondiwindi locals who intend to use the "small scale" feedlot as a subsidiary to their Victoria Park farming operation.
"We are a local, family owned business that looks forward to running a professional operation with a hands on approach," Mr McDonald said.
"We believe the feedlot is ideally situated in a rural area and will promote positive growth and employment for our agricultural region and agribusinesses.
"Importantly, we will work to meet and exceed any environmental and sustainability requirements of a feedlot of this scale."
Residents will still be able to voice their concerns over the feedlot with the Goondiwindi Regional Council, up until July 6.