By Sally McGlew
THE fate of a Bullsbrook Piggery is hanging in the balance and will be decided on December 16, after the City of Swan received a development application for a semen collection facility at 46 Gaston road, Bullsbrook.
Council has previously deferred the decision on the centre.
Westpork, the applicant is seeking approval for the proposed facility to collect stocks of boar semen for distribution to piggeries around Australia.
Around 188 boars will be housed in the sheds.
The application was deferred at the Ordinary Meeting of Council on October 21, in order for staff to investigate and advise on the circumstances of the closure of the last piggery located on the same land.
They were also asked to research problems with ‘stable fly’ and its potential impact on other rural businesses.
Public consultation on the item had 234 responses with 227 objections, however of those submissions 120 came from properties outside 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.
The subject site is zoned ‘Rural’ under the Metropolitan Region Scheme (MRS) and ‘General Rural’ under the City’s Local Planning Scheme No 17.
The application was referred to the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD), and the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA).
None of these bodies have objected to the proposal.
Westpork stated a number of workplace measures that would manage potential odour and noise issues.
Bullsbrook resident John Lee told council he was concerned the site selection was not ideal for the piggery.
“The buffer zone is not enough at 60m,” Mr Lee said.
“It needs to be 100m because its too close to Morley Road.”
Council’s report also stated there was nothing in the application to suggest that the animals would be treated in an inhumane manner.
City of Swan staff said they were satisfied that odour and noise emissions would be managed in accordance with best practice and the facility would not cause a nuisance to adjoining landowners nor the wider community.
The 2000-square-metre facility is planned for the 60-ha rural-zoned site and includes a stud shed and laboratory for quality control.
The facility would provide Westpork’s future breeding centre with their Pinjarra operation housing approximately 5000 pigs.
Westpork produces roughly 50 per cent of WA’s pork.
The company owns and operates eight farms in WA.
The artificial insemination centre would operate between 4am-8am on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays.
It intends to employ one permanent staff member, a part-timer one day a week and three part time employees working on collection days.