A tiny community north of Perth fears its idyllic way of life is threatened by plans to build the State's biggest free-range egg farm.
A small but passionate group of Wanerie residents have spent more than a year battling red tape and local government bureaucracy to oppose the construction of the intensive poultry farm, which could house up to 360,000 chickens over 191ha.
The neighbours are worried about smells, waste disposal, noise, dust, chemical drift and traffic.
The Shire of Gingin last month conditionally approved an application by AAA Egg Company to build a poultry farm in the rural zoned area of Cowalla Road in Wanerie, 27km north-east of Gingin.
The proposal is being considered by the State Administrative Tribunal because AAA Egg Company applied for 11 of the 21 conditions imposed by council to be reviewed.
The Free Range Egg Association of WA warns that if approved by the SAT, the plan would have "dire consequences" and set a precedent for high-density free-range egg farming never before seen in WA.
The capacity allowance of 360,000 chickens would meet the new national industry stocking density allowance introduced last year of 20,000 hens a hectare, or two hens a square metre, for free-range egg production. The previous benchmark was 2500 hens a hectare.
An intensive free-range poultry farm at the proposed site would almost certainly put at risk the 14 years of organic certification on Eleanor Russell's vegetable and herb farm over the road from the site.
Mrs Russell's neighbours Trevor and Marilyn Brown, who would be 500m from one of the laying sheds, said they would feel the full impact of the development.
"They're encroaching on our property," Mrs Brown said. "I'm not against development or progress but . . . this is not the right area for something of such a big size."Shire of Gingin president Michael Aspinall, who used his casting vote to get the proposal over the line at council last month, said there would be smells but that was to be expected in a rural area.
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