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Insemination wait despite SAT concern

THE fate of a controversial development application for an artificial insemination centre in Bullsbrook remains undecided after the City of Swan voted to defer their decision on the centre.

However the applicant, Westpork, now has the option to take the City directly to the State Administrative Tribunal, with the application past the 90-day limit for a decision.

The proposed Bullsbrook boar centre, at 46 Gaston Road, would combine Westpork’s three existing artificial insemination sites under one roof in a state-of-the art facility housing 188 boars.

The 2000-square-metre facility would be on a 60-hectare rural-zoned site and consist of a stud shed and laboratory for quality control, with no waste treatment undertaken on site.

The facility would provide Westpork’s piggeries for future breeding.

Westpork produces roughly 50 per cent of WA’s pork, owning and operating eight farms in WA and contracting the infrastructure and labour on another four.

The artificial insemination centre would operate between 4am and 8am on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays, with one permanent staff member on site six days a week, one part-time employee one day per week and three part time employees coming in on collection days.

Public consultation on the item had 234 responses with 227 objection, however of those submissions 120 came from properties outside of Bullsbrook and objected primarily on the grounds of potential animal cruelty.

Of the 114 objections within the townsite, odour, noise, pollution and decreased land values were the main concerns.

While staff recommended approving the application, Cr Tanya Richardson moved a deferral of the item to the November 18 council meeting to give officers time to investigate and advise on the reasons behind the closure of a previous piggery operation on the subject land, as well as investigate the impact of stable fly and the impact on other businesses.

Echo News understands the previous piggery operation on the site closed in the 1980s.

Councillor Rod Henderson then pointed out the 90-day timeframe for council to make a decision had already passed, and manager of statutory planning Phil Russell confirmed that the applicant could interpret the lack of decision as a deemed refusal, and take the City directly to SAT.

However Mr Russell also said that invariably, items that go before SAT as a deemed refusal are sent back to the local government authority for a decision and that proponents generally wait for a decision before taking this step.

The decision to defer was passed almost unanimously, with only Cr Henderson and Cr Lucas voting against.

Westpork were contacted for comment, however they would not comment.

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Echo News gives readers an alternative to other media outlets in WA and enjoys a very high rate of readership in its distribution area. Our Echo News team are a small group of devoted individuals who work hard to give the local community an easy to read, yet intelligent mix of local community stories.

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