Councillors back grain processing plant in Lake Gardens

BALLARAT City Council will support a controversial application for proposed grain processing in Lake Gardens when it comes before the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal in Melbourne.

About 50 local residents joined the public gallery at last night’s ordinary council meeting, calling for protection of nearby homes from noise, smell and dust from a grain processing plant inside the existing malt plant at 24 Gregory Street West.

The council voted unanimously to support the application from Harwood Grains despite it receiving more than 200 objections when first lodged in May 2012. The Lake Action Gardens Group rallied community opposition to the proposal.

The application was lodged with VCAT in December 2012 on the grounds the council had failed to reach an outcome within the prescribed time frame.

In moving the motion to support the application, Cr Joshua Morris said the proposed grain processing at the site was a better outcome for local residents than malting, which is currently allowed on the site.

He said the current situation had arisen as the result of actions by previous councils, while Cr Vicki Coltman seconded the motion and said it was “the best outcome” for residents.

Speaking on behalf of owners Paul and Tammy Harwood, Michael Porter said the project would employ 20 local workers and would help secure Ballarat’s manufacturing future. He said the company took seriously the large number of objections and that approval of the application would see a light industrial business replace heavy industrial activity on the site.

thomas.mcilroy@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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