Free-range pigs are believed to be healthier and happier but neighbours of a farm at Tewinga have told Nambucca Council they are polluting their lives and the environment.
Free-range pigs are believed to be healthier and happier but neighbours of a farm at Tewinga have told Nambucca Council they are polluting their lives and the environment.

Kicking up a stink

AN overpowering stink has developed at a rural residential subdivision near Macksville and the Nambucca Shire Council has been asked to clear the air.

The residents of Tewinga last week told a council meeting the operations of a free-range pig farm was making them sick to the stomach.

“The smell is simply disgraceful,” Geoff Goesh said. “In summer 75 per cent of the time the smell is so putrid we have to keep our doors and windows shut and in winter the odours get trapped in the valley.”

Mr Goesh is one of 25 neighbours of the free-range piggery who have complained to council over the past 12 months.

“We have kept diaries and have lots of evidence that the pigs are polluting the air and local waterways. This place is wrong in the situation it is in,” he said.

Another neighbour Bill Rainey told the council the stench from the free-range pigs is at times nauseating.

“No-one has the right to pollute,” Mr Rainey said. “I should also remind council that it is entitled to any fines it imposes for pollution breaches, and so it will be compensated for the testing program we want.”

For council the issue is whether it can afford up to $30,000 for scientific tests to determine if the piggery is causing pollution or breaching odour levels.

The mayor, Cr Rhonda Hoban, said free-range piggeries didn’t need to lodge a development application if less than 20 breeding sows were run and total pig numbers did not exceed 200.

Cr Brian Finlayson said he was worried about the impact of the piggery on the quality life, enjoyment and property values of neighbours.

“I don’t want to see anyone fined a huge amount but we can’t allow this situation to continue,” he said.

The council decided to consider a budget allocation in the next financial year for an odour and pollution assessment and in the meantime is working with neighbours to log when odours are the worst and prevailing conditions at the time.



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