Family considers Grassdale expansion appeal

Appeal expected to Grassdale feedlot expansion approval


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Mort & Co’s plan to expand its Grassdale feedlot near Cecil Plains in southern Queensland appears to have stalled.

Mort & Co’s Grassdale feedlot near Cecil Plains could become one of the largest beef feedlots in the nation if plans to increase capacity to 70,000 head eventuate.

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Mort & Co's Grassdale feedlot near Cecil Plains has recevied Toowoomba Regional Council approval for expansion to 70,000 head of cattle. Picture: Mort & Co website.

Mort & Co's Grassdale feedlot near Cecil Plains has recevied Toowoomba Regional Council approval for expansion to 70,000 head of cattle. Picture: Mort & Co website.

The Toowoomba Regional Council last Wednesday approved Mort & Co’s expansion proposal, which is expected to be completed in three stages. 

The feedlot currently has a capacity of 47,952 head and the expansion is expected to cost $20 to $25 million.

Toowoomba Regional Council’s Chris Tait, who is the chair of the Planning and Development Committee, said the approval was a positive for the beef industry and grain farmers who supplied inputs to the feedlot. 

“It will provide all the benefits to the region as an intensive animal industry supporting 70,000 SCU,” councillor Tait said. 

However, the expansion plan has not been welcomed by all with one local family considering an appeal. 

Creevey Russell Lawyers is representing members of the Bennie family who own properties called Elborn and Hinton adjacent to Grassdale feedlot.

Lawyer Dan Creevey said his client holds major concerns about a potential increase of dust and odour eventuating from Mort & Co’s planned feedlot expansion impacting on their properties.

“The next step in the process is to appeal and that’s all we are focusing on at this stage, but all options are available as we go forward,” Mr Creevey said.

“One of the major issues is the amount of complaints members of the Bennie family have made over the years about impacts of odour and dust from the Grassdale feedlot.”  

Mr Creevey expects it to take almost 12 months for a hearing on the issue in the Planning and Environment Court.

Members of the Bennie family submitted an objection to the initial feedlot expansion application approved by council last Wednesday.  

Mort & Co’s general manager of feedlots and farms, Scott Braund, said the company expects to receive written confirmation of the feedlot approval with any conditions by Friday.

Council’s planning department imposed some odour, dust and traffic conditions to the feedlot expansion plan application prior to the councillors vote last week.

“The council vote is a positive step for Mort & Co and prior to that there has been a thorough process including assessment approval by the state Government departments,” Mr Braund said.

“Going forward there’s still considerable process to work through.”

Mr Braund declined to comment if Mort & Co would enter into direct negotiations with members of the Bennie family to resolve their concerns.

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