Peel Pork expansionfor vote

Sam GibbsHarvey-Waroona Reporter
Person voting
Camera IconPerson voting Credit: Getty Images

Harvey Shire Council will tonight vote on an application by Peel Pork to expand the Yarloop piggery’s capacity by 25 per cent.

Owner and operator Kim Nairn said the expansion also included improvements to the pond system for the section of the farm that required effluent capture.

Dr Nairn said the expansion from 400 to 500 sows may not happen immediately due to the over-supply versus demand for pork.

“This expansion component of the application may not end up even happening given the current financial difficulties in the Australian pig industry and further complicated by high feed prices fuelled by the Eastern States drought,” he said.

“My understanding is that an approval for an expansion of herd size is only valid for two years and if I choose not to proceed in that time frame then the approval for herd expansion expires.

“So be it if the financial situation of the pig industry doesn’t approve in the next two years and the approval (if granted) isn’t acted upon, I will simply reapply when the situation does turn.”

Dr Nairn said he purchased the farm in mid-2015 before the Waroona-Yarloop bushfires and had been looking at improving the property since.

“I have been in discussions with the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation reviewing the current farm licensing conditions and effluent management infrastructure, looking to improve environmental outcomes for the property and surrounding landholders,” he said.

Dr Nairn said the idea of increasing the number of sows was to better service debt involved in making the capital investment for compliance and pig waste management.

“The important element of the application is the environmental outcomes achieved by being permitted to construct a third, larger pond,” he said.

“In terms of benefits to the community from expanding the herd, we will continue as we have historically done, to utilise local businesses for our construction/maintenance requirements and the farm’s day to day operational needs.

Harvey shire president Tania Jackson said the officer’s recommendation was for the council to approve the expansion with a list of conditions, including evaporation ponds to ensure no mosquito breeding, a bushfire management plan and an odour management plan.

“We are trying to minimise the impact of the amenity of the locality and ensure that noise, drainage and waste water would be managed,” Cr Jackson said.

“They (Peel Pork) have approval to operate, so that’s maintained, but to allow for expansion the committee felt an improvement to system would improve overall impact.”

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