Glen Innes Severn- Community against Feedlot 'Protect our Drinking Water Catchment'

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'We the signatories are seeking Council Revoke this Development Application'

On April 23rd 2020, Glen Innes Severn Council (Northern New England Tablelands NSW) approved a Development application for a 1000 head Intensive Cattle Feedlot in the towns Drinking Water Catchment. They received 255 objections from the community in 14 days... yet many people are still unaware.

This development is to be located in the Stonehenge Valley and although the Department of Primary Industries recommends an 800 metre buffer for cattle feedlots to potable water supply/catchments, this has not been adopted by our Council and this entire development site is in the Drinking Water Catchment. Many residents in the Glen Innes district will agree... that our water infrastructure is fragile... our water needs protecting...and...our councils water management plan needs addressing. 

Council has approved this Development with 26 conditions... albeit, they will now be handling that administratively. Which is worrisome for the community, because, alarmingly one of those conditions is an Environmental Management Plan. That's right... approved without an environmental management plan... in a drinking water catchment... in close proximity to residences and tourist sites.

Not only should residents and tourist be concerned about the water, they should be concerned about the airborne and environmental risks associated with intensive cattle livestock production. Some of which are Q Fever, Anthrax, Brucellosis, Leptospirosis, Dust allergy, Cryptosporidiosis- gastroenteritis’s, Ringworm dermatitis, E-coli infection, Giardia infection, Listeriosis to name a few.

Below; Radio Interview with resident Mr Graham Pagden Ba.S Ag    

Anyone who knows the Valley of Stonehenge will agree, it is a scenic splendour, known as the picturesque southern gateway to Glen Innes (Celtic Country). The amenity here is breathtaking, from rocky out crops and poplar drives, amazing autumnal displays of colour, sleepy foggy morns and postcard sunsets.

There are 3 well known tourist sites in this locale; the Celtic Country roadside stop, which overlooks the valley. Stonehenge recreation reserve- an 80 acre recreational space with fields, playground, picnic area and magnificent granite rock formations, a photographer's delight and Balancing rock. These will all be in close proximity to the feedlot and will all be subjected to the by-products of this development, because you can't actually mitigate a feedlot. To think there has been such disregard to the value of the amenity, is heartbreaking.

The site of Stonehenge itself is culturally significant for the 'Ngoorabul' people of the New England Region. The Stonehenge area is linked to sites of ceremonial and special cultural significance to the 'Ngoorabul' people, whom are the traditional custodians of this land.

The Beardy Waters has a rich ecosystem with many unique inhabitants, including several unique Finch species, various aquatic life and the iconic Platypus. Deserving of a particular mention is the Australian native white-tailed Water-rat, known by its Indigenous name 'Rakali'.  The Rakali are unique, valuable creatures. Recently, it has been discovered they are the only native predator of the Cane Toad and they are found right here in Beardy Waters. Sadly, inevitable contamination of Beardy Waters will result in a detrimental outcome to this unique environment and the inhabitants within it.

Many farms make up the valley with several subdivisions located amongst them, these are PEOPLE! people who have been deemed to reside next to a feedlot. A great majority can see the site, so they are certainly going to smell it, and be at risk of the by-products associated with it. It is likely too, to have implications as far as the township of Glen Innes and further, no doubt with a flow on effect to the value of property and tourism and therefore, losses to the economy.

Most farmers in the district use sustainable farming practices with respect to the land and they have done so since the area was settled in the 1830s. This is a highly fertile region at an altitude of 1067 meters it is valuable grazing country.

Stonehenge is a high rainfall region and low evaporation zone, which is negated for feedlots, as it accelerates the disease risk to humans and cattle and creates a poor condition for which the cattle are subjected to. Feedlots are not recommended for zones with rainfall over 720mm per annum....Keeping this in mind, surrounding Stonehenge, the annual rainfall is as follows;.... Glen Innes- the average annual rainfall since 1996 is 864mm; ….Mount Mitchell- the average annual rainfall since 1964 is 1006mm; ….Ben Lomond- the average annual rainfall since 1959 is 1091mm.... all much greater than 720mm, how was this missed? 

Council is implying the 3 hectares (referring to the pad only) will have stringent guidelines, however the entire site will be utilised for this production; including infrastructure, effluent ponds, manure windrows, carcass composting and the spreading of by-product... that's a footprint of 530ha. 

We can Change this! Council can change this! 

Sign the petition to support the rejection of this development… and to request council zone the catchment appropriately to protect it for all of us. 

Because if our own council doesn't care... let's show them we do!