A new feedlot planned for the Western Downs is set to become the second-largest in Australia following council approval last week.
Australian Country Choice intends to build 65,000 standard cattle unit, Tungamah Feedlot, at its current backgrounding and dryland cropping aggregation, Tungamah, near Moonie.
It will be built in five stages, and when completed, will be just behind Mort and Co's Grassdale Feedlot near Dalby, which has a capacity of 70,000 SCUs.
Tungamah's annual throughput will be about 43,300 head based on the standard 600kg animal (one SCU).
Historically, ACC has focused on producing short-fed, grain-finished cattle, however, this build is part of the company's diversification into producing long-fed cattle such as Wagyu and Angus for the export market.
The development, which also includes a 52-bed workers' accommodation area, will use about 136ha of the 12,300ha five-property aggregation.
Early works of stage one are set to begin immediately once building and plumbing approvals are received, while stage two will be developed in 2-5 years and stage three in 5-7 years.
ACC estimates the project will create 70 full time equivalent jobs across admin, handling, feed, preparation and delivery, cropping, and waste management, and will operate 12 hours a day, seven days a week including public holidays.
ACC CEO Anthony Lee said they had confidence in the decisions of the planning experts and the council.
"Like them, we are committed to grow Queensland's world-class red-meat industry and the economic benefits it delivers to the state," Mr Lee said.
According to ACC's application, the proposed development will strengthen the existing beef cattle grazing and cropping enterprises on the property "by value adding to the production, taking advantage of fluctuations in commodity prices and as a drought mitigation strategy".
It also says solid wastes will generally be applied to an on-site utilisation area or removed off-site, while when available, effluent will be applied to land via centre pivot irrigators.
Tungamah will be a conventional outdoor feedlot with a permanent production pen area with adjoining feed alleys, office, weighbridge, workshop, grain storage and processing, drainage and cattle handling facilities, and effluent utilisation areas.
ACC is part of the Lee group, a group of companies controlled by the Lee family with a portfolio spanning agri-food, air and marine charter and property.
The lotfeeding business includes three other feedlots - Brindley Park near Roma, Brisbane Valley near Buaraba, and Opal Creek near Cecil Plains.
Animal Liberation Queensland has launched a campaign asking Development Minister Steven Miles to 'call in' the development.
"We believe that the applicant has significantly under-calculated the water requirements for a feedlot this size," ALQ campaign manager Amanda Holly said.
"Furthermore, we are concerned about the failure to address critical risks and impacts such as greenhouse gas emissions, biodiversity loss and the danger to the Brigalow belt, a threatened ecosystem."
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