Coun­cil ap­proves shearer housing

Southern Riverina news - - NEWS -

Ber­ri­gan Shire Coun­cil has ap­proved Hall Shear­ing’s ap­pli­ca­tion to house 13 more work­ers in three new trans­portable dwellings.

The de­ci­sion comes off the back of a sub­mis­sion from the neigh­bours of Hall Shear­ing to block the ad­di­tional ac­com­mo­da­tion from be­ing in­stalled.

They raised com­plaints about po­ten­tial be­hav­iour of res­i­dents, lack of on-site man­age­ment and the po­ten­tial con­tact with strangers.

Hall Shear­ing’s founder Dar­ren Hall said he had made ef­forts to main­tain pri­vacy and safety.

‘‘I have a full time em­ployee to mon­i­tor con­duct and be­hav­iour in the work­place and at the cab­ins as set out in company em­ployee agree­ments,’’ he said.

‘‘This com­bined with my rep­u­ta­tion for zero tol­er­ance to drugs and the fact that my wife is a lo­cal po­lice of­fi­cer helps at­tract only staff that we would wel­come into our com­mu­nity.

“I’ve built a 10-foot Color­bond fence as a screen as in­structed by coun­cil, de­spite there be­ing no reg­u­la­tions to say I had to — you can hardly no­tice any­thing is there.

“We also have a 9.30pm noise cur­few through­out the prop­erty.

‘‘I’ve in­stalled fire hy­drants, ex­tin­guish- ers, blan­kets and a com­plex se­cu­rity sys­tem that not only pro­vides sur­veil­lance of the fa­cil­i­ties but in the event of a fire, trig­gers the sirens in all cab­ins and build­ings and also sends text mes­sages to my mo­bile phone with the lo­ca­tion and room num­ber of a trig­gered smoke alarm.’’

Coun­cil­lors be­lieved the de­vel­op­ment was an op­por­tu­nity to help growth in the shire, with work­ers bring­ing fam­i­lies who can use lo­cal schools and ameni­ties.

Mr Hall said by en­sur­ing safety for his work­ers he can at­tract the right sort of fam­i­lies.

‘‘By con­struct­ing ameni­ties of such a high stan­dard my company will not only at­tract the most pro­fes­sional work­ers on a con­sis­tent ba­sis to sup­port the lo­cal farm­ers’ needs for qual­ity work, but also allow em­ploy­ees to bring along or have their part­ners and chil­dren stay in the in­di­vid­ual cab­ins.

‘‘These fa­cil­i­ties and the amount of work avail­able in the area would en­cour­age fam­i­lies to set­tle in the area, en­roll their chil­dren in lo­cal schools, and stim­u­late the lo­cal econ­omy,’’ Mr Hall said.

The coun­cil de­cided the neigh­bours’ com­plaints “lacked in weight, but un­der­stood their con­cerns” and didn’t want to dis­rupt the growth of the Hall Shear­ing busi­ness.

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