Objectors heard at abattoir conference

By Geoff Adams

Objectors to the proposed new Gillieston abattoir have met with the project developers for the second time.

Meatworks Australia has applied for works approval from the Environment Protection Authority for an abattoir that can process up to 3000 head of sheep per day and employ up to 120 full time staff.

Many of the objectors are neighbours of the former 160 ha dairy farm property located on the Mooroopna-Lancaster Rd.

About 12 objectors attended Wednesday night’s meeting at the Greater Shepparton  City Council offices where they outlined their concerns with the size of the operation, its location in an agricultural zone, potential issues of dust, noise, odour, drainage, traffic management and biosecurity.

Project director Raed Elmasri attended the conference and told the Shepparton News the abattoir would create a significant economic boost for the region and would be an asset for sheep producers.

However, the project could take several years before it was operational, following planning approvals, design and construction.

Mr Elmasri, from Melbourne, said they would be employing professionals with experience in the industry to run the operation.

The EPA told the conference the next step was for a technical assessment of the application, followed by an assessment of the material produced in submissions and from the conference.

The council will then have to make a decision on the planning permit.