Tassal appeals against sheep farmers’ “dream home”

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Tasmanian salmon farmer’s new hatchery is at the centre of dispute.

Tassal is seeking approval to build an AUD 46 million (EUR 28.2 million) hatchery near Hamilton in the Central Highlands, using water from Meadowbank Lake, Tasmania, Australia.

Though its plans for a new 126-megalitre storage dam for the hatchery discharge water, which will then be treated and subsequently used on a neighbouring property for irrigation, which is causing a headache for its new neighbours.

ABC reports that James Headlam – who runs a 216-hectare farm used for sheep and cattle grazing, as well as growing lucerne – is not happy with the development right next door to his site.

The proposal is currently before the Central Highlands Council for consideration. The expansion is a part of an effort by the Tasmanian salmon industry to aim to grow its value to the AUD 1 billion (EUR 614 million) mark by 2030.

Headlam told the publication that it had concerns over runoff into Meadowbank Lake, as well as lights, odour, noise and increased traffic.

Tassal referred ABC back to its Environmental Impact Assessment where it stated that all risks “had been assessed as manageable”.

Headlam claimed that said Tassal appealed against his development application to build a new home on the farm, and convert the existing residence into accommodation.

“It’s been a 10-year-long plan to build my dream home in this very location, and enjoy these beautiful vistas of the Derwent Valley, and it’s something I’ve worked very hard to achieve. As it was a reasonable request, Council had permitted the [application] but now Tassal has seen fit to appeal that decision and I’m in a situation where I have to defend my own permit to build a new home,” he added.