Piggery meeting raises important issues

It goes without saying the Blantyre Piggery proposal for Eulie has truly divided our small community.

The scene at the public meeting on Tuesday was like witnessing a forced marriage between two warring families.

On one side of the room there were those who supported the intensive farming piggery plan.

On the other side there were those vehemently against it.

Both sides have good points. The 20 jobs that would have been created if the plan went ahead would be a boost for our town. The flow-on effects would have been felt throughout our community, from more younger people staying in the region to potentially raise families, to more school students meaning more teachers, it could have been a real shot in the arm for the local economy.

The other side questioned “at what cost?”

Animal liberationists obviously expressed serious concern about how the pigs would be treated, but this was a relatively minor issue.

Land owners neighbouring the proposed piggery site had many and varied views as to why the piggery should not go ahead.

From complaints of potential offensive odours to damage to roads from heavy vehicles to noise concerns – any and all of the Not In My Backyard (NIMBY) concerns were raised through the many speakers on Tuesday.

In an ironic twist, a lot of these residents literally reside on or near Nimby Hill.

One level-headed speaker said he had no real issue with a piggery or intensive farming, but said the proposed site on which the piggery was touted would not be suitable due to its steep nature and potential for run-offs into creeks that feed into our drinking water system.

Both sides fought a good fight at the meeting in what could only be described as a stalemate.

The one question that lingers is why was a public meeting called in the first place when the council’s decision-making hands were tied by state government bodies?

Is it possible the Blantyre team will be able to again submit a development application after the democratically elected council takes over in September?

In the meantime, we all wait with anticipation to see what Edwina Beveridge will do next.

She has not ruled out taking the matter to court.

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