Greens rallying against mega dairy
PLANS for a massive dairy at Raleigh have now become political.
Greens candidates for both Oxley and Coffs Harbour have expressed their concerns about the dairy intensification project on the boundary of their electorates.
The candidate for Oxley, Jeremy Bradley, said he was concerned the 8.7 hectares which lies above the 1 in a 100 year flood level would not be enough to accommodate the 1500 cows during a big flood.
“This is a massive problem with the predicted increase in frequency and intensity of flooding due to climate change,” Mr Bradley said.
“There is also the issue of urine and manure being concentrated into areas above the flood level, producing nutrient hotspots and a source of potential contamination for the local oyster industry.”
Cr Rodney Degens, Greens candidate for Coffs Harbour, said the communities of Raleigh, Mylestom and Repton faced a threat to their lifestyle and property values as a result of smell alone.
“Prevailing summer winds will put these residents right in the path of odours, which will become even more concentrated with wet summer conditions and high temperatures,” Mr Degens said.
Both said such an intensive factory farm was not in keeping with the increasing demand for ethically and sustainably produced products.
In response, Raleigh Dairy Holdings manager Stuart Brander said he had been surprised by the level of opposition to the proposal.
“The proposals are defined, under the council’s local environment plan 2010, as ‘pasture-based dairies’, they are not feedlots nor intensive livestock agriculture,” Mr Brander said. “The cattle spend most of their time grazing in open paddocks.”
He said a lot of work had gone into developing a long-term strategy for the care and use of the site and its surrounding environment.
For those concerned residents wanting more information, the No Feedpad on the Floodplain group is holding two public information sessions – one tonight, 7pm at the Luncheon pavilion, Bellingen Showground, and the second on Monday, at the Raleigh Hall, 7pm.
Bellingen Shire Council has also announced a three-week extension for public submissions.