Shire demands feedlot fix

MOYNE Shire is pursuing legal action against a premium beef producer over complaints about its Macarthur feedlot. 

Neighbours are frustrated by strong odours and run-off from the feedlot and council is ordering the business to prove the yard, which houses up to 2000 head of cattle, meets industry guidelines.

Hopkins River Beef, which takes some of its product from the feedlot, supplies Coles Finest Label products as well as several smaller butchers.

A spokesman for Moyne Shire confirmed it had “concerns on the impact of the operations” and would issue an improvement notice. 

“Council is seeking Hopkins River Beef to reduce the impact of the operation beyond the boundaries of the site — particularly odours,” he said.

“Council is asking Hopkins River Beef to demonstrate stocking rates comply with the Victorian code for cattle feedlots.” 

Hopkins River Beef pastoral operations manager David Maconochie said he was surprised by the shire’s decision.

“We were audited only just last week by Ausmeat,” Mr Maconochie said, adding the company had passed 18 audits. 

He said the council had not responded to site inspection offers and hadn’t informed him of the decision to issue an improvement notice, which was made on February 25. 

“Nobody has taken up the offer. We’re disappointed that nobody’s been out on site.

“We’re not holding out on anything or staying away — we’ve been quite open. We were waiting for a little bit more direction from the council.”

Moyne Shire is also ordering the company to seek a separate planning permit for its composting operations, which Mr Maconochie said complied with codes. 

Neighbouring dairy farmer Martin Chenoweth said his home was filled with unbearable odours from the lot during south-westerly winds. 

“It’s ever-present,” Mr Chenoweth said. “There’s 2000 (cattle) there without a permit ... it’s been built up by stealth.”

s.mccomish@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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