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[dropcap style=”font-size: 16px; color: #00000;”]Milk processing plant location needs forward thinking:[/dropcap]

[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #A5CECD;”] I [/dropcap] live only 400 meters from the proposed milk drying plant and proposed freezer storage facility behind Midfield Meats, which if developed will be the largest of its kind in the southern hemisphere.

I have received an offer from a local real estate agency stating that my house would be devalued due to the proposed development and they had a buyer who’d be interested in purchasing my house to support the workers at the plant.

Warrnambool needs entrepreneurial businessmen like Colin McKenna, owner of Midfields Meats and the rendering plant. They provide investment and employment which contribute to the growth and development of this wonderful city.

Objections to the current proposals generally support the development of these industries in Warrnambool, but argue that the current site is too close to residential zones and therefore these new plants should be sited elsewhere.

The expansion of inappropriately sited industries and the proposed introduction of heavy industry so close to residential zones, will negatively impact on the health and wellbeing of residents and should not be considered – a disaster in the making.

There needs to be a buffer zone, away from any residential areas and away from our pristine coastline. When Midfield Meats and the rendering plant were developed, they were out of town.

But things have changed, the city has grown and will continue to grow into the future. Warrnambool is a great city with many areas of natural beauty and such industrialisation so close to the city and the coastline is out of step and totally inappropriate.

Midfield Meats is less than 3k to the Warrnambool city centre Post Office and even less to the Merri River and the ocean. The rendering plant is right ‘on’ the ocean and ‘in’ Kelly’s Swamp – ridiculous.

The three industries of Midfield Meats, the milk processing plant and the rendering plant need to be placed out of town and on one large industrial site. They could be constructed using environmental best practice principals and become an industry leader for the 21st century.

Here is an opportunity to demonstrate a forward thinking vision, to create an industry model for the future, able to expand to meet the growing demands of domestic and international trade in the 21st century. Financial assistance could be sought from Federal, State and local Government and the new international investors in our dairy industry.

The issue here is about industrial development that is in sympathy with the development of healthy communities.

When turning into McMeekin Road from Koroit Street, the city side is to the left and the light industrial estate is to the right. Midfield Meats currently sits on the city side and with the push for further expansion, perhaps it is time to draw a line in the sand and have the city side rezoned as residential and small business. All industry to the left or further out as appropriate and the Warrnambool City Council develop a new “heavy” industrial site.

Bowing to forceful economic proposals is not the way forward.

Selling and rezoning land and making promises without proper community consultation is not sympathetic to the needs of either the community or the environment. It is imperative that Council, politicians and local entrepreneurs be visionaries, build for the future and listen and respond to community concerns.

Francis van der Mark, Warrnambool

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2 thoughts on “”

  1. Well put Francis – this is a watershed moment for Warrnambool and if the milk and freezer plants are eventually built they will become huge ugly monuments to cynical pragmatism and financial expediency providing a permanent reminder to the people of Warrnambool of how different the development of their beautiful seaside city could have been if the decision makers involved had showed more courage and vision when they needed to. It’s a no-brainer that if these operations were moved to an appropriate site out of town there would be no loss of amenity and no loss of potential job creation.

  2. I totally agree with Francis about moving Midfield Meats and any associated, heavy industry, away from the rapidly expanding perimeters of the city. And it must be done quickly, before it’s too late and any available, suitable land gets swallowed up in urban growth. Just look at Dennington and how quickly every available piece of land has been, or is in the process of being built on. Even land where only a mountain goat would feel at home, has been excavated and cut into until houses perch precariously on the sides of hills. Amazing!
    I do urge the council to reserve a dedicated area for heavy industry as soon as possible.

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