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Monday, 6 February 2017

BARINGHUP BROILER FARM SUPREME COURT DECISION

I received the news just after the decision was handed down on Friday. I was shocked and saddened.

This is a devastating result for the Baringhup community and the region more broadly.

I am truly disappointed and genuinely feel for all those who have fought so hard to stop this chicken factory from proceeding at great personal and financial cost.

Sadly despite objections from Council, from thousands of petitioners, and the local community the Supreme Court has determined there is no net detriment to the community.

All those affected by this decision know the reality is far from this.

I have grave concerns for the environment of the Moolort Plains, the Loddon River and for the many small and medium businesses and farming families who live in the vicinity - not to mention the people who call Baringhup home.

I have spoken to the Minister for Planning and the Minister for Agriculture and advised them of the decision and expressed my deep concern.

I will have further conversations with them during this sitting week in Parliament.

It is my personal view that the Broiler Code urgently needs reviewing and having not done so already has left the Baringhup community to face a very uncertain future, and the Shire of Mount Alexander with a potential heavy cost burden to maintain infrastructure around Baringhup.

What I find extraordinary about the desire to build a chicken factory at Baringhup - despite community objections - is that there are Shires further north of this area that are very keen to have these factories built there.

This is the wrong place to build such an intensive chicken factory.

I will continue to pursue any avenues available through State Government to see if there is any possible way to intervene.

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