Council approves shearer housing
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.