Proposed Free Range Poultry Farm – Lot 3751 Munbinea Road Hill River
Location: Lot 3751 Munbinea Road, Hill River
Applicant: AAA Egg Company Pty Ltd
Development Services Apps / Development
Date: 8 February 2018
The proponent is seeking planning approval for a free range
poultry farm located on Lot 3751 on the corner of Munbinea and
Cervantes Roads, Hill River.
Lot 3751 Munbinea Road (1939ha) has recently been subdivided
into two lots of approximately 1668.8ha and 270.2ha respectively.
The applicant proposes the egg farm development for the smaller
lot of 270.2ha (future lot 42), which is majority cleared of native
vegetation and of minuscule topography. The proponent outlines
this development has essentially the same design features as the
egg farm at Lot 25 Munbinea Road (approximately 2km northwest)
approved by Council in July 2017. AAA Egg Company Pty Ltd also
applied for a third egg farm at Lot 4 Mimegarra Road, Cataby. This
egg farm was recommended by Council to be approved by the
Wheatbelt JDAP in August 2014, however AAA Egg Company
withdraw their application before the JDAP Hearing due to further
environmental findings of the site.
The proponent intends to situate the egg farm in the middle of the
property with the nearest laying shed to any boundary being 200m
from Cervantes Road. No other boundary setbacks are given on
the site plan.
The proposal consists of:
· 12x egg laying sheds approximately 100m x 22.4m
· 2x 250m2 managers residences
· 50m x 7.5m workers accommodation and kitchen
· 16m x 26m office, cool-room and staff amenities
· 38m x 10m workshop and machinery shed
· 2x water tanks
· 8m x 6m gen shed
· 40m x 12m fodder shed
The maximum number of laying hens on site will be 360,000,
30,000 per shed.
The objective for ‘Rural’ zoned land in Local Planning Scheme
To provide for a range of rural activities such as broadacre and
diversified farming so as to retain the rural character and amenity
of the locality, in such a way as to prevent land degradation and
further loss of biodiversity.
A free range poultry farm fits under the land use “animal
husbandry – intensive” Under the Scheme this is defined as:
“animal husbandry - intensive” means premises used for keeping,
rearing or fattening of pigs, poultry (for either egg or meat
production), rabbits (for either meat or fur production) and other
livestock in feedlots”.
Agriculture Intensive, Agroforestry, and Animal Husbandry-
Intensive are “D” uses (discretionary approval) in a Public Drinking
Water Supply Area where Council will have due regard to the
potential impact on groundwater quality.
The proponent’s newly subdivided property is located outside the
northwest border of a Department of Water and Environmental
Regulation’s Priority 2 Public Drinking Water Source Area
(Cervantes Water Reserve) and approximately 16km from the
Water Corporation’s production bores.
The proponent’s property is however located in the predicative
Bassendean Precinct Special Control Area of Scheme. Whereby,
the Scheme states the following:
5.2 Bassendean Precinct Special Control Area
The Bassendean Precinct Area is an important environmental unit
in the central coast region. The area comprises deep porous
sands that are hydrologically connected to a number of wetlands
in the area. The area is noted as a significant area of internal
drainage which is particularly vulnerable to the use of fertilizers.
Purpose of the Special Control Area
1. To preserve the ecological values of the Bassendean Precinct
and interrelated wetlands.
2. To avoid development and land uses which would negatively
impact on the environmental values of the area.
3. To ensure that future land use in the area, including agriculture,
mining and recreational activities does not degrade the area.
4. To ensure that any development takes place in such a manner
so as to safeguard the environmental values of the area.
In considering any rezoning request, subdivision or development
application the Local government will have regard to the following:
Development applications for land within the Bassendean
Precinct should not be approved where the development may
result in an increase of nutrient release into the soil. The
impacts of proposals for aquaculture, commercial tree
plantations, earthworks (such as filling and excavation) and
intensive agriculture will be carefully assessed.
Local strategic planning guidance is given in the Shire’s Local
Planning Strategy - Rural Land Use and Settlement 2012:
8.1.2 Intensive Agriculture
The Council may refuse an application for planning consent where
in its opinion the proposed development will:
1. adversely affect the rural landscape;
2. adversely impact upon the agricultural use of the land and
3. cause detrimental environmental impacts;
4. result in unacceptable fire management risk;
5. place unacceptable servicing requirements which have not
been appropriately addressed by the applicant;
6. seek to ensure the impacts of the proposed use/development
can be adequately contained on the application site; and
7. in the opinion of the Council will result in an undesirable
planning outcome and will be contrary to the orderly and proper
planning of the locality.
Avoiding Landuse Conflict
Intensive animal industries such as feedlots, some horticultural
activities and piggeries have the potential for detrimental impacts
of water pollution, noise, dust, odour and possible soil erosion.
Location of these uses therefore requires careful consideration by
the Council in order to avoid environmental degradation and land
Department of Environment and Conservation (DWER*) guidelines
in relation to buffers to minimize land use conflicts between rural
industries and residential areas are summarised in Table 7. These
buffer distances should be considered as a starting point for
planning purposes and not the sole means of minimising the risk
of land use conflict.
Table 7: DEC recommended buffer distances between Rural
Industries and Residential areas*
INDUSTRY BUFFER DISTANCE (metres)
Poultry industry 500
Conflict can also occur between various forms of agricultural land
use and for many agricultural practices it is not feasible to contain
impacts within lot boundaries.
Greater awareness of, and adherence to, relevant Codes of
Practice for other agricultural land use activities can also help to
minimise land use conflict as well as off-site environmental
Further local strategic planning guidance is given the Shire’s Draft
Local Planning Strategy 2016 (this strategy will supersede Local
Planning Strategy - Rural Land Use and Settlement 2012):
5.3.4 Avoiding land use conflict
Guidance for separation distances between Industrial land and
sensitive land uses is provided by the Environmental Protection
Authority. (EPA: Guidance for the Assessment of Environmental
Factors No. 3, June 2005). These generic separation distances
and buffer areas have been developed to complement and assist
the implementation of the SPP 4.1, State Industrial Buffer Policy. It
is intended to provide an approach to minimise the land use
conflict between industry, including rural industries and
surrounding sensitive land uses. These buffer distances are not a
substitute for taking all necessary measures to contain impacts onsite.
Registering of notifications on land titles alerting surrounding
landowners to amenity impacts may also be needed to limit
potential future land use conflicts. Those purchasing land will be
made aware that living in or close to an agricultural area may
impinge on their quality of lifestyle.
5.3.9 Accommodation for farm workers
As the agricultural activities diversify, costs increase for travel and
local circumstances change, there is a growing interest in
providing on-site accommodation for managers and full time, part
time and seasonal workers working on the property.
In principle, the shire supports the use of workers’ accommodation
on or near the properties on which they work subject to each
application being assessed on it’s the individual merits. When
considering application for farm workers accommodation on rural
land Council will take the following mattes into consideration:
· suitable access to the property being provided;
· the availability of services and infrastructures;
· the management of potential adverse impacts and land use
· a preference to cluster similar uses on the property, and
· the inclusion of conditions in the approval to prevent workers
accommodation being used as justification for a future
The following is comments on the major concerns of the proposed
Services and Infrastructure
· Cervantes and Munbinea Roads are sealed roads and provide good access to the site.
· The applicant is advised to liaise with Western Power to ensure
there is sufficient power available to the site.
· The applicant has advised that from a desktop study and site
visit the evaluation results indicate the site would be suitable for
its intended purpose of a free range egg production farm (see
attached Environmental Assessment).
Vehicle Access Requirements
· A traffic management plan will be implemented to maintain and
enhance internal vehicle access areas and minimise the
potential for traffic conflict and generation of unreasonable
offsite noise or dust.
· A dust management plan will also be implemented to minimise
dust generation with the potential for off-site impact.
Ground and Surface Water
· The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation
(DWER) were consulted for comment on the proposal and
provided the following feedback on this matter:
The submitted proposal did not include any detailed information
regarding soil and water management during the construction of
the development. Particular attention should be paid to potential
weather effects on range areas that may impact on poultry, soil or
water resources including:
· Free to range enclosures should be sited where the ground
surface is at least three metres above the water table to reduce
the risk of flooding. Where soils have low permeability,
floodwaters may transport nutrients from manure into wetlands.
· A site where open areas of standing water may occur should be
avoided as wild birds may be attracted, exposing poultry to an
increased risk of disease.
· A suitable area should be provided to allow roaming birds to
forage without causing significant soil damage, nutrient leaching
or loss of contaminant filtering vegetation to property
boundaries, waterways and water bodies.
It is recommended that should the development be approved that
conditions are enforced requiring the following plans to be
developed in consultation with the Department of Water and
Environmental Regulation (Regulatory Services (Water)):
· Assessment of the wetland areas located on the property with
appropriate buffers and fringing vegetation defined.
· Soil and Water Management Plan.
· Stormwater Management Plan prepared in accordance with the
· Stormwater Management Manual for Western Australia.
It is also recommended that any wastewater treatment and
disposal systems for the manager’s houses and/or donga
accommodation be designed in accordance with the Water Quality
Protection Note No. 70 – Wastewater treatment and disposal –
· The applicant is liaising with DWER to gain permission to use
ground and surface water. It is believed there will be sufficient
quality and quantity of bore water to service the industry.
Remnant Vegetation and Wetland Protection Requirements
· The site is largely cleared of original vegetation; however an
area of remnant banksia wood in the central part against
Cervantes Road and an uncleared wetland area in the north
west of the property exist. The proposed development is
located away from both these land characteristics.
Land Use Conflict
· There is no wider potential for land use conflict from things such as spray drift or smoke between existing and proposed use.
· The use will not sterilise land with potential for urban expansion or other long term land needs as there is unlikely to be any urban expansion in the vicinity.
· There are no sensitive adjoining land uses.
· The proposed development will form a uniform group with AAA Egg Company’s first site located approximately 2km northwest at Lot 25 Munbinea Road.
· The development should not significantly detract from any scenic landscape and/or conservation attributes identified in the locality as the proposal is approximately 11km from Indian Ocean Drive.
· Tronox request that the proximity of valuable mineral resources and possible future mining activities be communicated to the proponent.
Buffers with Adjacent Uses
· As there are no existing dwellings or other sensitive land uses within 1000m of the site the application complies with both local and State buffer distance standards.
· Further to Table 7 from the Shire’s Local Rural Planning Strategy illustrated above the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) have advised that there is a required minimum distance of 1000m required between any other poultry farm sheds. The proposed poultry farm complies with this requirement as the poultry farm will be located approximately 2km from the proponent’s other operating poultry farm in the Hill River region.
· The proposed development will also comply with the 1000m
setback requirement from any sensitive land use stipulated
under the EPA Guidance Statement No. 3 – Guidance for the
Assessment of Environmental Factors – Separation Distances
between Industrial and Sensitive Land Uses.
Safety, Health and Amenity of the Locality
· Given the site management protocols, separation distances
from existing dwellings and the very unlikely development of
urban land within the vicinity of the proposal, there are no
adverse impacts on nearby residents.
· An advice note is provided to applicant to advise that the
proposal should at all times comply with the Biosecurity &
Agriculture (Stable Fly) Management Plan 2013 in order to
minimize the effects of stable flies on the community.
Size and Timing of the Operation
The applicant has advised the following:
· The operation of a poultry farm is 24 hours a day, 7 days a
week commitment, however the applicant has stated standard
hours of operation for regular activity will be from 6am to 8pm
Monday to Sunday.
· 120m3 of manure is produced weekly.
· Each poultry shed is depopulated approximately every 5.25
weeks creating 60tons of carcasses (11.43tons weekly).
· General waste is approximately 2 to 3m3 per month.
· A waste and manure management plan will ensure best
industry practices are implemented to ensure offsite impacts
· Manure moisture levels are monitored and will be kept below
the level known by the farm managers to cause odour.
· Manure from the poultry sheds will not be spread on the
· Manure will be removed from the poultry sheds twice weekly via
conveyor belts to waiting trucks who will remove the waste
offsite for further processing, reuse or disposal.
· Normal mortality of birds will be collected daily or more
frequently if required. The disposal of such will also occur daily
either through refrigeration, composter or other approved
methods of disposal.
Conditions of approval will ensure all waste is disposed correctly
and safely and any adverse impacts of the waste to the
environment are minimised and are not simply transported
elsewhere. Conditions of approval will ensure all waste
transported offsite for:
· further processing and/or reuse shall be to the standards stated
in the Environmental Guidelines for the Australian Egg Industry;
· disposal is to a Department of Water and Environmental
Regulation Licensed Controlled Waste Facility under Part V of
the Environmental Protection Act 1986. However this is only
applicable to waste facilities which receive in excess of 1,000
tonnes annually under Schedule 1 of the Environmental
Protection Regulations 1987.
The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development
on consultation requested further information from the proponent
to make a comment on the proposal. In response to this Terry
Woodard, the Director of AAA Egg Company stated the following:
As submitted, we are proposing to build 12 x 30,000 bird
controlled environment, free-range poultry sheds that are the latest
technology equipment from Big Dutchman in Europe who are
global leaders in poultry housing systems.
The sheds design, equipment and construction will allow the hens
to spend up to 8 hours per day free ranging on reticulated
paddocks, the balance of the hens time will be spent inside the
shed where they will drink, feed, lay eggs and roam in the
controlled environment. The specifics of the daily life of the hens
meet or exceed the current Poultry Code of Practice 4th Edition as
well as the proposed Australian Animal Welfare Standards and
Guidelines for Poultry currently being reviewed.
AAA Egg Company is the leading producer of both cage and free
range eggs in Western Australia and operate multiple free range
sites in WA that strictly follow HACCP principals of food safety that
are incorporated into our QA systems to comply or exceed the
minimum standards identified by the various codes. We strongly
support the Standards and Guidelines for Poultry review becoming
mandatory legislation nationally to further strengthen the
requirements of egg producers.
Our farm managers are trained in HACCP based Quality
Assurance systems that are practical, effective and provide for
ongoing improvement via review and action methodologies.
We verify these systems through senior staff (including Livestock,
Operations and Quality Assurance managers) who are Certificate
IV in Training and Assessment to carry out ongoing internal
training and verification of our QA system.
Each of our sites including the Proposed Site No 2. Hill River
Poultry Farm are bound by a site specific environmental code of
practice to ensure we meet or exceed the standards (these can be
found in the attached documentation).
The environmental assessment report written in consultation with
Dr Peter Keating from Bio Science is derived from the relevant
local, state and national environmental standards (these can be
found in the attached documentation).
Given the above information it is the Officer’s view that if the site is
well managed to the protocols listed, there will be minimal impact
to neighbouring properties and the environment and is therefore
supported with conditions.
· Department of Primary Industries & Regional Development;
· Department of Water & Environment Regulation;
· Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions;
· Department of Fire and Emergency Services;
· Local newspapers;
· Surrounding land owners; and
· Shire Officers.
· Local Planning Scheme No 7
· Environmental Protection Act 1986
· Environmental Protection Regulations 1987
· SPP 2.5 – Rural Planning Guidelines
· SPP 2.9 – Water Resources
· WAPC Fact Sheet – Poultry Farms
· Environmental Code of Practice for Poultry Farms in Western Australia
· Environmental Guidelines for the Australian Egg Industry
· Poultry Code of Practice 4th Edition
· Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Poultry
· There are no local policy implications relevant to this item.
The proponent has paid a fee of $17,553 for the planning
· Local Planning Strategy - Rural Land Use and Settlement 2012
· Draft Local Planning Strategy 2016
· 2016 – 2026 Strategic Community Plan
Goal 1: Great Place for Residential and Business Development
Goal 2: Healthy, Safe and Active Community
Goal 5: Proactive and Leading Local Government
Circulated with the agenda are the following items relevant to this
· Subdivision Plan (Doc Id: 107611)
· Site Plan (Doc Id: 107597)
· Environmental Assessment (Doc Id: 107599)
· Environmental Management Plan (Doc Id: 107596)
· Schedule of Submissions (Doc Id: 107602)
That Council approve the planning application for a proposed
Free Range Poultry Farm on Lot 3751 Munbinea Road, Hill
River to AAA Egg Company subject to the following
conditions of approval:
1. The land use and development shall be undertaken in
accordance with the approved and stamped plans,
including the approved Environmental Management Plan.
2. This Approval is for an Animal Husbandry - Intensive
(Free Range Poultry Farm) only.
3. The use and development must be substantially
commenced within 3 years of the date of this approval.
4. Poultry shed design and management, management of
stock feed, water, waste products and all other aspects of
poultry farm operation are to comply with the
management guidelines set out in the Environmental
Code of Practice for Poultry Farms in Western Australia
(May 2004) and the Environmental Guidelines for the
Australian Egg Industry (June 2008).
5. The maximum number of laying hens shall be 360,000.
6. Crossovers, access and egress to the subject site from
Munbinea Road and any road works shall be located and
constructed to the satisfaction of the Executive Manager
Infrastructure and include all necessary drainage and
signage. Costs applicable to the construction of the
access point/s onto the site and any related issues shall
be borne by the proponent.
7. All internal roadway surfaces within the site are to be
constructed of a suitable material such as paving, road
base, limestone or course gravel and compacted to limit
dust generation to the satisfaction of the Shire’s Chief
8. The use and development must be conducted so that it
has minimum impact on the amenity of the area by reason
I. Transportation of materials, goods and commodities
to and from the premises;
II. Appearance of any buildings, works and materials;
III. The emission of noise, odour, vibration, dust,
wastewater, waste products or reflected light.
9. The applicant is to carry out of each of the elements of the
Environmental Management Plan including the audit
protocol set out within the Environmental Management
10. Prior to the commencement of the development, an
amended Soil and Water Management Plan shall be
submitted to the Shire and approved by the Chief
11. Prior to the commencement of the development, a
Stormwater Management Plan prepared in accordance
with the Stormwater Management Manual for Western
Australia shall be submitted to the Shire and approved by
the Chief Executive Officer.
12. Prior to the commencement of the development, an
assessment of the wetland areas located on the property
with appropriate buffers and fringing vegetation defined
shall be submitted to the Shire and approved by the Chief
13. All waste transported offsite for further processing and/or
reuse shall be to the protocols of the Environmental
Guidelines for the Australian Egg Industry (June 2008).
14. All waste transported offsite for disposal shall be to a
Department of Water and Environmental Regulation
Licensed Controlled Waste facility under Part V of the
Environmental Protection Act 1986. This condition is not
applicable to facilities which receive less than 1,000
tonnes of waste annually under Schedule 1 of the
Environmental Protection Regulations 1987.
15. In the event of any adverse environmental conditions
caused by the proponent, the Chief Executive Officer may
impose conditions to rectify and remediate the
environment by and at the cost to the proponent.
Note 1: Further to this approval, the Applicant may be
required to submit working drawings and
specifications to comply with the requirements of
the Building Act 2011 and the Health Act 1911
which are to be approved by the Shire’s Manager
Building Services and/or Manager Environmental
Health prior to issuing a Building Licence.
Note 2: The Department of Health advises that any form of
pest control using pesticides must comply with the
Health (Pesticides) Regulations 2011.
Note 3: It is advised that the proposal should at all times
comply with the Biosecurity & Agriculture (Stable
Fly) Management Plan 2013 in order to minimize the
effects of stable flies on the community.
Note 4: It is advised that the proposal should at all times
comply with the provisions of the Food Act 2008
and related regulations, codes and guidelines and
in particular the Primary Production Standard in
relation to Egg production.
Department of Water and Environmental Regulation Advice
· Free to range enclosures should be sited where the ground
surface is at least three metres above the water table to
reduce the risk of flooding. Where soils have low
permeability, floodwaters may transport nutrients from
manure into wetlands.
· A site where open areas of standing water may occur
should be avoided as wild birds may be attracted, exposing
poultry to an increased risk of disease.
· A suitable area should be provided to allow roaming birds
to forage without causing significant soil damage, nutrient
leaching or loss of contaminant filtering vegetation to
property boundaries, waterways and water bodies.
· Any wastewater treatment and disposal systems for the
manager’s houses and/or donga accommodation be
designed in accordance with the Water Quality Protection
Note No. 70 – Wastewater treatment and disposal –
Western Power Advice Notes:
The applicant is to be made aware that before commencing
any work it is essential that they complete a Dial Before You
Dig enquiry to obtain the location and voltage of the Western
Mining Advice Notes:
Tronox request that the proximity of valuable mineral
resources and future mining activities be accounted for in the
assessment of this development and communicated to the
proponent. If approved, the development must be undertaken
with the knowledge of being located adjacent to future mining
and mineral haulage activities, and the associated
interactions that will arise.