The Tabro Meats expansion will see the abattoir triple its processing capabilities and include several sizeable new buildings, coloured yellow in planning documents.
By Gav Ross
THE $26 million Tabro Meats expansion was given the green light by Bass Coast Shire Council last week, with councillors agreeing to a last minute change to permit conditions allowing more cattle to be processed and truck delivery times extended by over three extra hours a day.
A recommendation from council officers included permit conditions that listed a maximum of 1500 animals processed at the abattoir per day (up from the current rate of 500) and for truck delivery times to be restricted to between 7am and 6.30pm seven days a week.
Cr Bradley Drew believed the council should be more lenient, and requested further changes.
He asked his colleagues to agree on increasing the number of animals processed up to 1600 per day.
“I can’t understand why we would limit an organisation to what they can or can’t do,” Cr Drew argued.
“It could look like going into a coffee shop and being told you can only serve 35 cups of coffee as opposed to 50.”
Cr Drew also requested the delivery times be altered as well.
“Taking into consideration the farmers in the area, I believe 6.30am to 9pm would be a more appropriate time for truck movements and deliveries,” he said.
“This would also assist traffic flow in and out of (facility).”
Cr Drew noted that Tabro Meats had been operating for 30 years and had been “a great economic driver for our local community”.
He also praised the applicant on the number of jobs which will be created as a result of the expansion, with the proposal confirming the 160 people currently employed at the site will double.
“It will only increase the numbers of local people having an opportunity to learn a skill,” he said.
If you’re a younger person in our shire looking to enter an industry, here’s an ideal opportunity.”
Cr Clare Le Serve disagreed with the changes, saying the increased delivery times and animals could further impact the amenity of the area.
Ultimately, councillors approved the permit application, which also included a detailed environmental management and landscape plan.
The council’s acting general manager of Sustainable Development and Growth, Jodi Kennedy, said the council also took into consideration four objections from the community.
“The main points of the objection covered the key issues of noise, odour, truck movements, water runoff, water contamination and transport movements to and from the site,” Ms Kennedy said.
“The applicant, GHD, also spoke with and offered to meet each objector to discuss their concerns.”
Ms Kennedy said the Tabro development is consistent with the relevant provisions of the Bass Coast Planning Scheme.
“These include the State Planning Policy Framework and Local Planning Policy Framework, particularly the policies in relation to economic development and agriculture,” Ms Kennedy said.
“The proposal is considered to be appropriate for the site.”
The development is expected to be completed over two to three years.