An application for a new 10,000 sheep and 50,000 cow mega feedlot next to the Ula Ula State Forest near St George in outback Queensland was lodged with the Balonne Shire Council in June 2021. This feedlot will have a detrimental impact on the environment, the local ecosystem, as well as resulting in the confinement and suffering (and ultimately, the slaughter) of tens of thousands of animals every year. Despite over 1,800 of our supporters writing to the Council to raise serious concerns about the development, the Balonne Shire Council approved this development in October.
We have formally lodged a notice of appeal against this approval in the Planning & Environment Court.
We have secured a team of professionals to assist us and we intend on holding the Council and the applicant accountable and will oppose this development in court.
The professional costs of lawyers and experts are significant but necessary to give us the best possible opportunity to fight this development.
Update (February 2023):
Nearly 18 months later, we can finally provide an update on what has been a long but successful appeal process. Earlier this month, the matter was resolved after we were able to settle with the feedlot.
We'd like to preface this by saying that in no way do we approve of or endorse any animal being kept in a feedlot. Feedlots are appallingly cruel environments, and if we had a strong prospect of completely stopping this feedlot, we would have tried. Sadly, we can only operate within current laws and legislation, which are not kind to animals.
As a result of our legal challenge, the developer conceded to an increase in water requirements, a groundwater investigation and an amendment to the effluent utilisation area. Based on water availability in the region, we are now confident that, with the requirements of the new staging, this feedlot is unlikely to ever expand beyond 30,000 cows.
This is potentially tens of thousands of cows every year that won’t be forced to be confined to the cruel and unnatural living conditions of a factory farm feedlot. It will also ensure better protection for the environment and surrounding wildlife.
It goes without saying that we will continue to monitor councils to object to factory farms. For now, we just want to say a heartfelt thanks to everyone who donated to the legal costs of this appeal, who lodged an objection and who supported us in other ways. This feedlot has been significantly limited thanks to you.
Update (March 2022) - Our Chuffed crowd-funding campaign has successfully raised funds sufficient for the initial stages of the appeal. We are still seeking additional funds to progress to cover the costs of lawyers, water experts, and animal welfare experts.
The Balonne Shire Council was accepting public submissions regarding this application until 07/07/21.
Our main arguments for opposing this development are:
1. Water Usage has been underestimated.
2. This development will threaten the health and biodiversity of the local ecosystem.
3. Unacceptable risk to Moonie River and associated ecosystem.
4. Waste management and associated pollution, groundwater pollution, emissions and vermin.
5. The detrimental impacts of intensive, 'factory' farming on animal welfare, the environment — and people
Submissions closed 07/07/21. Thank you to the more than 1800 supporters who made a submission through our website, and the many more who made a submission directly to oppose this development.
We were formally notified that the council has approved this development (with conditions) on 27/10/21.
We lodged a Notice of Appeal with the Planning and Environment Court. We expect the appeal to progress in early 2022.
Please check back here and join our email list for further updates on this development.