Proposed saleyards expansion a cause of dispute
A council proposal to expand Emerald Saleyards has been met with opposition as residents say, among other things, the change will make noise and odour pollution intolerable.
The council is seeking to expand the saleyards to hold a maximum of 2400 cattle for up to 10 days for tick treatment, which is necessary when selling cattle to certain regions.
Emerald-born Nicholas Comino posted his official objection to the development online last week. It contained several criticisms, including zoning incompatibility, the sound and smell of cattle, and the possibility of waste flowing into town.
“Noise and odour from the saleyards is already an issue,” Mr Comino said.
“The site they’re proposing is currently zoned for community facilities and they want to change the zoning. A cattle holding yard is not a community use.
“If it floods, because I don’t know that it has draining at all, all the cow waste will go through the north side of town.”
Mr Comino thought residents were not adequately notified about the proposal and that traffic would increase in the area.
“The problem isn’t with the saleyard,” Mr Comino said. “It’s the location. It doesn’t have the right facilities.
“If they moved this out of town, Emerald would still reap all the economic benefits.
“We’re not against the saleyards. It’s just that the council have chosen a terrible site.”
Application documents state that the overall number of cattle processed in the yards would not increase and that odour would be reduced by “site management” and “a vegetative buffer”.
They say noise should remain at an acceptable level, but “exceptionally noisy” cattle could be moved to the far end of the holding yard.
Central Highlands Regional Council said the development would include earthwork and the building of 20 extra holding pens for “improved saleyard efficiency and animal welfare”.
“The additional holding pens are required to ease congestion at the yards that occurs as a result of compliance with biosecurity requirements to dip cattle and spell them for generally 4-8 days,” it said.
The council said the application and any relevant submissions would be discussed at a general meeting within the next three months.
“Information about the plans for the saleyards’ extensions was made available on the council’s website during the submission period and included 25 comprehensive documents and reports,” it said.
“The application, like any development application that council receives, is subject to all the assessment, public notification, public submission assessment, and decision making provided for by legislation.”
Objections were to be sent to the council by last Friday.