I attended an information evening at the Kernot community hall on Thursday night, February 12 as a concerned resident of an adjoining farm and found the hall packed with standing room only.
Many of the community unpleased with the lack of public consultation on a development of such scale, tempers flared at one point when a community member was stating a valid concern about the entry of the property and a worker from said farm hurled expletive abuse at the man, as many in our community have come to expect from the current management.
One of my favourite questions from the audience was how does your company propose to contain 1000 cows when you can’t keep 400 cows off the road – also a common sight on our roads.
At no point did the company deny bringing in workers from China to run the operation.
Mr McNaught did his best to deal with a hostile audience and his younger counterpart was selling his mantra: happy cows = more milk.
He also shared his opinion on world’s best practice CAFO style, as many in our community know the grass revolution is here and we in South Gippsland are front and centre on the world stage for demand of grass-fed beef and pastured poultry, pigs and eggs.
This is the reason Australian milk commands such a price in China due to a predominantly grass diet and that equates to high levels of omega3 as opposed to omega6 in grain fed animals.
Many other valid concerns were raised on the night but a question I didn’t get to ask to all of our councillors was: Considering most, if not all of the milk will be exported to China; the large scale building will most likely be performed by a company outside our community; and the workers bought in to run the plant, and considering a significant investment in Loch Kernot Road upgrade, what does the Mayor and councillors believe to be the financial benefit to our community?
And if it’s putting Kernot on the international map, I think Australian milk products already are – that’s why internationals are buying up our farmland.
Iain McLaren, Kernot.
Any benefits for us?