Wellard defends feedlot

Wellard defends feedlot

|RESIDENTS have blamed fly infestations and odours on the Wellard Rural Exports Feedlot in Baldivis.

Casuarina Wellard Progress Association president Steve Sturgeon said the flies had increased.

“You can’t sit outside – I went to Bunnings Baldivis and had to queue up to get a fly trap,” he said.

“Residents from the Sunrise Estate have also complained of regular strong odours coming from the sheep holding yard.

“The smell has been stronger than normal and very regular.”

“There are large piles of manure under their sheds and a pond with sheep urine in it.”

City of Kwinana Mayor Carol Adams said it was a matter for the Department of Environmental Regulation.

“The City has encouraged residents to contact DWER directly,” she said.

The feedlot is within the City of Rockingham’s boundary. Mayor Barry Sammels said a preliminary inspection was carried out.

“The City’s officers noted flies under the feedlots and around the manure piles in the immediate vicinity of the shed,” he said.

“The City cannot confirm there was fly breeding on site, nor that the ponds contained sheep urine.”

It had referred the matter to DWER.

A Wellard Rural Export spokesman conceded there were more flies than usual.

“It has been a bad year for flies everywhere, not just at the feedlot,” he said.

“There has been no change to our stock numbers, management or processes this year that would have caused an increased number of flies.

“We are however in discussions with an expert pest controller to assess additional control measures.”

He said nothing had changed with their manure handling practices.

“It must be noted that the manure is, and always has been, produced over a large surface area, so increased quantities does not have a large impact on the surface area,” he said.

“Once sufficient quantities are on-site, it is sold to compost manufacturers or local residents for their gardens.”

He said the pond was actually a drainage sump used to manage wastewater and prevent urine entering stormwater drains.

A DWER spokeswoman said they were investigating the matter.

“(DWER) will be conducting an inspection of the premises to ascertain compliance with its current environmental licence. Once investigations are complete the Department will advise the complainants of the outcome,” she said.