The council has deferred a decision on a controversial feedlot.
The council has deferred a decision on a controversial feedlot.

5000 animal feedlot: 'The physical proximity horrifies us'

THE Toowoomba Regional Council has deferred a decision on a proposed 5000-animal feedlot, after serious issues were highlighted about its impacts on neighbouring properties.

Councillors voted yesterday at the special meeting to push back the approval or rejection of the feedlot on Strathane Rd in Ellangowan.

Issues cited by the TRC related to water access, the overflow of effluent and how traffic and smell would impact on nearby properties.

An impassioned argument from organic beef farmer Nina Curtis caused councillors to scrutinise council planner Peter Swan's assessment report and the environmental impact studies by Rod Davis.

Mrs Curtis said the combined beef and dairy feedlot proposal was just 870 metres from her house, well below the TRC's accepted outcome limit of 1.5km.

"The physical proximity horrifies us. It does not comply with the planning scheme codes and policies," she said.

Mr Swan said the feedlot was measured on performance outcomes, using a formula to determine its overall impact.

Following an hour of debate and questions, the original proposal approving the development failed to get a seconder after Cr Megan O'Hara Sullivan moved it.

Mrs Curtis thanked the councillors for listening to the Ellangowan community's concerns.

She said the proposed feedlot would hamper her property's chances of being re-certified as organic.

"We're certified organic and puitting 5000 animals onto that spot is located on top of a hill poses a real threat to what we do," she said.

"It poses a threat to our waterways and we don't believe the statements being made in the environmental assessment fix it.

"We do not believe that we have been given the right amount of separation distance."

Mr Swan said extensive assessments had been done and the impacts of neighbouring properties was "negligible".

"Within the application material, it was demonstrated that the effects would have minimal off-site impacts," he said.