Residents annoyed at Freemans Reach development application

RESIDENTS of Blacktown Road at Freemans Reach, fronted Council’s meeting last week annoyed about a development application from an intensive plant agriculture property on their road.

The application was for the construction of an agricultural farm shed and the installation of igloos at 69 Blacktown Road and 121A Batchelors Wharf Road.

Donovan Callaghan spoke against the application saying as residents they had no objection to sustainable farming in the area, which the farm in question is not.

‘‘They are continuously working out of hours, there’s an apparent misuse of chemicals, spraying without adequate protection, apparent use of illegal workers and people living in the shed, as well as depositing of sludge into Bushell’s Lagoon and neighbouring properties,’’ he said.

Mr Callaghan said he was worried the behaviour would escalate.

‘‘There are already 36 illegally erected igloos on the property,’’ he said. ‘‘It’s been going on for four years and in that time we have complained to Council on numerous occasions.’’

Kaye Ridge, who has family history of farming in the area for 200 years, said this DA is just a revised version of ones submitted in the past.

‘‘The matter of sprays being used is still of concern as we have cattle for slaughter on our property. It’s drifts on the wind, we have no idea what they’re spraying and we don’t think they do either,’’ she said. ‘‘We have been on the property for 27 years. How long will it be before Council knocks back these DA’s for good?’’

Councillor Christine Paine agreed Council had been through this many times before and the conditions on the property in question hadn’t improved.

‘‘It’s been a long and arduous fight and maybe this could be the end of it,’’ she said. ‘‘I’d like to see them copping huge fines from here on in if they don’t comply.’’

Cr Jill Reardon said she thought these adjoining residents had suffered long enough.

Cr Williams said he couldn’t remember recently seeing so many reasons in the business paper to refuse an application.

It was unanimously decided not to approve the DA.

Absent from the vote was Deputy Mayor Tiffany Tree and Cr Barry Calvert.