Abs involvement questioned
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.