Resident raises traffic safety concerns of hatchery plans

A Riverina resident and business owner fears a proposed $12 million chicken hatchery could cause serious road safety concerns in Ladysmith. 

DEVELOPMENT: Geoff Willis, Craig Lally and Cassandra Lally-Brady are not impressed by parts of the opposed chicken hatchery. Picture: Laura Hardwick

DEVELOPMENT: Geoff Willis, Craig Lally and Cassandra Lally-Brady are not impressed by parts of the opposed chicken hatchery. Picture: Laura Hardwick

Geoff Willis brought his property on Vincent road for peace and tranquility, which is also home to his much-loved horse riding business. 

In April this year Mr Willis, as well as several neighbouring properties, received a letter from Wagga City Council proposing stage one of the development. 

With his property sitting just 20 metres from the potential chicken hatchery’s access points, Mr Willis said his biggest concern was road safety.  

“With two permanent staff living there and four casual staff working there that’s eight vehicles going up and down the road each day,” Mr Willis said. 

“I use the road with the kids when they’re learning to ride and I’m worried it will become a safety issue with the extra traffic.” 

Mr Willis said Vincent Road was an extremely narrow dirt road, with cars currently having to pull over to the side to allow another car to get through. 

“The dust those trucks and extra vehicles could create would be unbelievable,” Mr Willis said. 

"I don't want the road sealed either because that could mean they drive faster and everyone knows horses and bitumen don’t mix.” 

Calling for the scrapping of the proposal, Mr Willis said if the hatchery was to go ahead he would like the access points changed and regular ongoing odour inspections. 

“I’d really like to see an independent survey on this and I really would love to see it squashed,” Mr Willis said. 

Previously home to a small dairy farm, which closed down last year, Mr Willis said there was just one truck trip every two days. 

“I knew when the dairy truck was coming and I would plan my whole day around it,” Mr Willis said. 

“They're calling this stage one but I'm concerned about stage two, and three, and four... they're a big company."

Mr Willis said his list of concerns goes on, raising questions surrounding odour and water salinity. 

“I’m worried about how much water they’ll pull out of the ground because apparently they use a fair bit for these things,” Mr Willis said. 

“We’ve already got big water salinity issues.” 

A forum to discuss the chicken hatchery will be held on Monday night at 6pm at Wagga City Council. 

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