Residents say ‘piggery’ not such a good idea

A PLANNED biodynamic free-range farming operation at Kybong may not be as desirable as it sounds, according to residents across the Mary River near The Dawn and Jones Hill.

But proponents say the combined pig, poultry and cattle grazing operation will be a relatively low impact use of the 107ha site, where it is planned to farm 10,000 hens, 1000 pigs and up to 150 cattle.

But it is the pigs which applicant Dan Carney says are the problem.

He says Gympie Regional Council classifies commercial pig raising enterprises as "intensive," with an associated requirement for council permission, because it is assumed that piggeries are a form of lot feeding.

But he says a low density of land use and a free range operation means his project will be no more offensive in terms of odour and other pollution than any other grazing operation.

The Silver Dale egg operation which he manages in other areas had won national praise for exceeding ethical standards for raising its free range chickens.

And although there is little high density human occupation on his side of the river, riverside suburbs on the western bank of the river means many are concerned about possible air pollution from animal excrement, as well as having concerns about possible fouling of water feeding in to Gympie Regional Council's Jones Hill water supply take-off.

Mr Carney says his pigs and chickens will gain a large part of their nutrition from "well managed pasture," with additional feed used to build soil fertility, after the animals have eaten and excreted it.

He maintains the nutrient load on the soil will be no worse than if any other organic fertiliser had been applied.

Residents concerned about the project can obtain full information from the council and have until November 6 to make any comments on the application to allow an "intensive animal industry".

Gympie Times

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