Home' South Gippsland Sentinel-Times : September 26 2017 Contents THE SOUTH GIPPSLAND SENTINEL-TIMES, TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2017 - PAGE 3
A STANDOUT feature of the draft master plan
for the Leongatha Railway Site Transformation
project is a $300,000 covered pedestrian bridge
connecting a revitalised Bair Street to the park,
playground, car parking and other features be-
There could also be a rail trail bridge over
Roughead Street and the idea of big, playful cow is
not out of the question either.
It could all cost in the order of $2 million, ac-
cording to Cr Andrew McEwen, built in stages of
course, largely with government money.
The extent of this adventurous draft, put togeth-
er over months of consultation, including a par-
ticularly insightful submission by students from
the Leongatha Secondary College, was revealed at
a briefing session last Wednesday.
It is available for community feedback until
Tuesday, October 17.
Council has been given the opportunity to take
over the lease of the railway land and to help reju-
venate the site into a visually appealing space that
can be used by the local community and can help
to attract visitors.
The railway corridor to Leongatha will remain
open so that future rail services may one day re-
turn but, in the meantime, the draft master plan
recommends a number of key initiatives, includ-
• Rail trail extension from the current start at
Horticultural Park into the site connecting to the
station building and existing path from Roughead
• Restoring access from Bair Street past the Toy
Shop as with the previous footbridge
• Use of station platform as a stage for perfor-
mances with a grassed area for seating/recreation
• Playground and covered BBQ area
• Fitness equipment stations
• Additional car parking (opposite Anderson
Street and also opposite Jeffrey Street)
South Gippsland Shire Council’s Senior Strate-
gic Planning Officer Chantal Lenthall is keen for
the community to review the draft Master Plan and
to provide feedback.
“Council received hundreds of ideas as to how
the Leongatha Railway Site should be improved.
We have used the community’s key suggestions in
the development of the Draft Master Plan and are
now interested in hearing people’s feedback. We
hope to receive constructive feedback on the Draft
Master Plan so that the Final Master Plan is some-
thing that the community is proud to support.”
Once the Leongatha Railway Site Master Plan is
finalised it will be used as a supporting document
to assist with obtaining grant funding.
Grant funding is required for the project to ad-
vance to the next stage.
Councillors were generally supportive of the
ideas contained in the plan.
“I’d still like to see something wild like a big cow
feature,” said Cr Alyson Skinner.
Director Development Services Bryan Sword
said it might be possible to attract an arts grant for
something like that.
Cr Meg Edwards said she’d like to see more ag-
ricultural themes reflected.
Cr Lorraine Brunt said the rail yards had been
“the bane of Leongatha’s existence since the trains
stopped in 1993.
Cr Jeremy Rich said he would have liked to see
more connection between the commercial area of
town and the new park. He said there was a dan-
ger with it being hidden from view.
Mr Sword said the shire had toyed with the idea
of buying a Bair Street block and opening the rail
land up in a big way but suspected a prohibitive
Cr Andrew McEwen was on another tangent.
“I’m bullish about getting the rail back in five to
10 years’ time.”
The plan can be viewed at: www.southgippsland.
vic.gov.au/LeongathaRailwaySite Or in person at:
• Council, 9 Smith Street, Leongatha • 37 Bair
Street, Leongatha • Leongatha Library, 2 Smith
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Bridges over troubled rail land
Delighted that some of their ideas have been included in the draft master plan for the
Leongatha Railway Site Transformation project and showing a continuing interest in the
rail plan at last week’s council meeting were Leongatha Secondary College Students Malik
Phillips, Angus Clark and Maddi Cruickshank with Senior Strategic Planning Officer Chan-
tal Lenthall. m123917
Broiler farm applicant Chris Freney and
consultant Jack Kraan, addressed council
and were able to address most if not all of
the objectors’ concerns. M153917
Among the local Wooreen residents and
their supporters who filled the public gal-
lery at last week’s public presentation ses-
sion, to protest about the 400,000 chicken
broiler farm proposal for a property off
Yarragon-Leongatha Road were Toni, Chris
and Frank Griggs (organic farm neigh-
bours), Jill Forrester, Deborah and Tony
Daffy of Black Duck Farm Cottage BnB,
Richard Nankin, Rosie Cousin and Isabell
Broiler farm fears
WOOREEN residents, especially those living
near the proposed 400,000-chicken broiler farm
off Yarragon-Leongatha Road, aren’t happy.
That was very clear from the views expressed
by many of them at last week’s South Gippsland
Shire Council public presentation session.
But as passionately fearful as they were of the
anticipated impact on their lifestyle and amenity of
a chicken production enterprise being established
nearby, it must be said that Jack Kraan, the con-
sultant representing the applicant Chris Freney,
himself a highly experienced chicken meat pro-
ducer, convincingly batted away most, if not all of
In fact it was particularly edifying to hear both
sides of the debate presented, in the same forum
last Wednesday, prior to a decision being taken
by council on the application at its meeting next
And the residents should be commended for the
respectful in which they received the verbal sub-
mission by the proponents.
It’s not to say they went away convinced. In fact
we know that they didn’t because several of them
continued to lobby councillors and the media af-
terwards and have since posted information on-
line and written letters to the editor.
They don’t want it in their backyard.
The applicant says he selected exactly that piece
of land in the Farming zone because it is an en-
tirely suitable location. And never the twain shall
It will be one of those tough decisions for council
– damned if you do and damned if you don’t
Mr Kraan, who says he has shepherded many
such applications right through government and
council processes, including a similar operation at
Stony Creek, presented a compelling argument to
the people who will make the decision, the coun-
cillors, on the face of it, leaving them with little
grounds for refusing the application.
He started his submission by saying that the
Farming zoned land was specifically set aside to
provide for agriculture, not for residential living
or any other purposes. It was to ensure that other
uses did not interfere with agriculture including
housing and tourist operations.
This was a direct reference to submissions by
objectors earlier that the chicken production
would impact their residential lifestyles and BnB
operations. “Who wants to go to a wellness retreat
that stinks,” said one of the objectors who also
presented to council last week.
Mr Kraan said the proposal satisfied and exceed-
ed all aspects of the Broiler Code and he rejected
claims made by the objectors that the site could
house more than the allowable 400,000 chickens.
“RSCPA accreditation requires that they inspect
the premises twice a year so there can be no more
than 398,000 birds under RSPCA regulations,”
he said. He also rejected claims that creeks in the
area were at risk from contamination.
He said the design of the sheds completely elimi-
nated the possibility of polluted water or effluent
escaping from the sheds or the site.
“All stormwater is collected and put into a new
dam which will be recycled for drinking and cool-
ing.” He said the chicks were mature in 54 days
and there would be 5.6 batches of birds, in and
out of the site each year.
He also said that noise, odour and dust would
not be an issue as a result of new and improved
methods for modern chicken meat production
processes. Several objected to the amount of truck
movements along Yarragon-Leongatha Road.
Local resident Jill Forrester, owner of a nearby
170 acre farm said the development would “de-
stroy the amenity and tranquillity” of the area.
“It’s not only our livelihood that’s at stake but
our superannuation,” she said.
Cathy Goller said her house was downhill and
downwind from the development, just 686 metres
away. “I didn’t come to live over the road from an
unsuitable poultry operation,” she said.
‘Toxic’ dust, odour, noise and environmental
contamination were her main concerns.
Organic farm operators next door, Chris and
Frank Griggs, said they had been producing certi-
fied beef from the area for 21 years and faced the
prospect of having to pack up and leave.
Another resident Richard Nankin alleged trucks
would access the property on a regular basis from
3am to 7am with up to 20 B-double movements a
day. “The road network can’t handle it,” he said.
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