Abs in­volve­ment ques­tioned

Deniliquin Pastoral Times - - Mdba Chair’s First Riverina Tour - ~ Anna McGuin­ness

Mur­ray River Coun­cil­lor Gen Camp­bell has ques­tioned the el­i­gi­bil­ity of a mi­cro-abat­toir pro­posal at Barham re­ceiv­ing $450,000 in Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment fund­ing.

Awarded to the Mur­ray Plains Meat Co-op­er­a­tive Mi­cro Abat­toir un­der the Mur­ray-Dar­ling Basin Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Pro­gram, Cr Camp­bell shared her con­cerns at the Septem­ber coun­cil meet­ing.

The fund­ing is for sup­port­ing projects and com­mu­ni­ties im­pacted by wa­ter re­cov­ery un­der the basin. The mi­cro-abat­toir project was listed for the com­mu­nity of Deni­boota.

‘‘I would’ve as­sumed Deni­boota was Deniliquin and Wom­boota. This is far away from the Barham abat­toir,’’ Cr Camp­bell said.

‘‘There is also an ad in the River­ine Her­ald where River­side Meats is look­ing for a qual­ity as­sur­ance man­ager, but in the orig­i­nal pro­posal for the mi­croa­bat­toir we were told (the Echuca abat­toir) had closed.’’

Coun­cil com­mu­nity and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment di­rec­tor John Harvie said the ap­pli­ca­tion was el­i­gi­ble and said at the time the ap­pli­ca­tion was put to­gether, there was no abat­toir ser­vic­ing the more than 20 pro­duc­ers who form the co-op­er­a­tive.

‘‘They (the co-op) were the ini­tial ap­pli­cants for this fund­ing,’’ he said.

‘‘Coun­cil voted to be­come the lead ap­pli­cant for the fund­ing, the project man­ager and the owner of the fa­cil­ity, once it’s com­pleted, for a pe­riod up to five years.

‘‘The gov­ern­ment had in­di­cated that they could not fund the meat co-op­er­a­tive, as it was a new or­gan­i­sa­tion with no fi­nan­cial his­tory be­hind it. That’s why they asked coun­cil to step in.’’

Cr Tom Weyrich said he was get­ting phone calls on a weekly ba­sis from peo­ple neigh­bour­ing the planned abat­toir site who had not re­ceived any for­mal no­ti­fi­ca­tion about the plans.

‘‘I think we prob­a­bly need to go back and re­visit our abat­toir be­cause if my in­for­ma­tion is cor­rect, we’ve not con­sulted with the com­mu­nity and some peo­ple who live close by are very up­set,’’ Cr Weyrich said.

Mr Harvie said this was be­cause a de­vel­op­ment ap­pli­ca­tion hadn’t been lodged yet, and said coun­cil was wait­ing to hear whether the project had been awarded a grant through the NSW Gov­ern­ment’s Grow­ing Lo­cal Economies Fund.

Mr Harvie also said there had been three pub­lic meet­ings in Barham for the com­mu­nity to find out about the project; how­ever, Cr Camp­bell said she had been told the meet­ings were to join the co­op­er­a­tive.

Cr Geoff Wise abat­toir, but was lo­ca­tion.

said he was in con­cerned about

favour of the the sug­gested

‘‘It’s not a beau­ti­ful in­dus­try and if it’s sit­ting be­side small prop­er­ties with kids, I’m not so sure about squeal­ing pigs 200 yards away,’’ he said.

‘‘I’m to­tally happy with the con­cept, but I’d love to re­visit and give the mem­bers a look around and see what is avail­able.’’

The project has so far re­ceived a to­tal of $825,000 in fund­ing.

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