Worm farm approved at eco-village

A LARGE worm farm at the Kookaburra Park Eco-Village near Gin Gin was approved by the Bundaberg Regional Council yesterday in a decision that left nobody really happy.

Kookaburra Worm Farms owner George Mingin said while he was pleased with the decision, he would like to get back the $50,000 he had spent in the past two years trying to prove his operation was legal.

And residents of the eco-village opposed to the worm farm operation were left disappointed at the decision.

The worm farm was approved by the old Kolan Shire Council as a home occupation.

But in 2008 the amalgamated Bundaberg Regional Council ruled the owners had to lodge a development application because the operation had grown.

Mr Mingin said yesterday he had been waiting two years “for the inevitable to happen”.

He said the worm farm was his family's whole livelihood as well as that of people he had working for him.

The farm had been operating for more than seven years.

“It's a weight lifted off our shoulders,” he said.

“But it would have been much better for our health and family wellbeing if we hadn't had to go through what we have for the past two years.”

Kookaburra Park resident Bill Bray called the decision “disappointing”.

He said the council had based its decision on misinformation suppled to its officers.

“It's an inappropriate, industrial style operation in a residential area,” he said.

“Worm farms are basically waste processing facilities.”

Mr Bray said when the worm farm was approved by the Kolan Shire Council it was a small operation that had since grown.

He said residents were frustrated the council had not discussed the issue with the body corporate.

“By approving this it means anybody can apply to operate a worm farm in their own backyard, not just in the eco-village,” he said.

Residents would now rely on the council to keep a close eye on the worm farm.

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