Call To Create A Farm Buffer Zone. Kelly Daniels, The Reporter, 13 Feb 2015

Now residents of Chambers Flat are complaining about the same issues as we have in Greenbank.   When will Logan City Council LISTEN to the people and STOP allowing these noxious farming practices to be conducted right next to where people live?  Ten years of documenting breaches, and writing and making presentations to various levels of government, from over 60 Greenbank residents, have achieved little as they continue with their own agendas.

Where is their Duty of Care?

Call To Create A Farm Buffer Zone. Kelly Daniels, The Reporter, 13 Feb 2015


Local residents Kim Downs, Kathy Faldt and Wayne Butcher want stricter regulations around farming near houses. Photo Inga Williams / The Reporter Inga Williams

RESIDENTS in Greenbank and Chambers Flat are concerned farms built close to houses are endangering their health and the surrounding environment.

Wayne Butcher, who has lived in Chambers Flat since 1990, has an intensive horticulture farm near his home and said they had been “improperly” placed in the community.

“They are in close proximity to residents, without sufficient buffer zones,” he said.

“Chemicals are running off into the creeks and some of these farms back right onto the Logan River.

“Council has told me there is nothing they can do to regulate current farms but it’s up to them to do the correct due diligence.”

“I’ve asked council what they are doing to ensure the safety of residents and I’ve still got no answer.”

Greenbank resident Kim Downs said approvals on pre-existing farms were not stringent enough.

“They’re 10-15m from houses and everyone out here is reliant on tank water,” he said.

Mr Downs said his concern was spray from chemicals used on the farms could reach the roofs of local homes, impacting their only source of water.

“We drink it, wash in it and there’s no way out,” he said.

“None of the farms are required to state what chemicals they have because they’re not considered commercial businesses.

“If they’re not storing chemicals properly they could explode.”

Mr Downs said if these farms were approved, he wanted to ensure there was a proper buffer between them and surrounding houses.

North Maclean’s Kathy Faldt said she believed chemicals were being left out in the open.

“So in an event of a flood, they’re running off,” she said.

“Chambers Creek runs straight through the centre of some of these farms. The water rushes into the Logan River and out to Moreton Bay.”

A council spokesperson said the current planning provisions for the old Beaudesert area did not regulate intensive horticulture on a property 8000sq m or more.

“This means there are no provisions around managing the potential impacts on a neighbour’s amenity,” they said.

The spokesperson said in the new Logan Planning Scheme 2015, Logan City Council was introducing balanced regulation that would provide clear rules for farmers and certainty for community members.

“All intensive horticulture will have to meet certain boundary setback requirements as well as not exceed certain noise, air or light standards at the property boundary of the farm,” they said.

“These requirements have been sourced from a variety of industry standards, including Australian Standards, the Queensland Environmental Protection (Air) Policy, New South Wales Government Environment Standards and existing standards in the current Logan Planning Scheme 2006.”
The Reporter

Topics: farms, intensive horticulture

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