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Mud-slinging continues for piggery project

LEGALLY SETTLED: Two parties involved in a court battle over the Kybong piggery proposal dispute its possible impact on the Mary Valley.
LEGALLY SETTLED: Two parties involved in a court battle over the Kybong piggery proposal dispute its possible impact on the Mary Valley. Elyse Wurm

THE Kybong piggery proposal may have settled in court this week but the parties continue to debate whether the project will impact the Mary Valley.

While Valley resident Reg Lawler says he still has concerns over the impact of the piggery on the environment, developer Stuart Andrews says the entire process has been an exercise in futility against an environmentally sustainable project.

With court costs running into the hundreds of thousands, Mr Lawler said the situation should have been resolved by talking instead of litigating.

"This money has left our community and we have gained nothing that could not have been gained by the people negotiating with each other," he said.

Despite agreeing to extra conditions for the project during the legal battle, Mr Lawler was still concerned.

"I still believe the development will... affect the local community," he said.

After being told he would lose the case and carry costs ($25,000 for the piggery opposition, about $50,000 for the council and $200,000 for Mr Andrews), Mr Lawler said an agreement was reached - but he still believes in the merit of his case.

According to Mr Andrews though, the case did little more than cause emotional and financial stress to himself and his family.

He said the conditions Mr Lawler claimed to achieve were always part of the proposal.

"The odour, noise and dust experts agreed in November that the application could be approved and yet Mr Lawler only decided to abandon those issues in May this year," he said.

"There was no expert evidence, scientific or otherwise, that could have led to Mr Lawler proving the proposed develop was or could have had any impact on the environment, the Mary River or surrounding properties.

"Mr Lawler did not win anything apart from an agreement not to pursue him for the costs wasted as a result of him instituting an appeal without any prospect of success.

"This whole process instigated by Mr Lawler and his group has created a huge amount of emotional and financial stress for a young farming family wanting to show how a regenerative farm can operate and enhance the landscape for the good of animal, human and the environment for their own narrow-minded, unsubstantiated views."

Topics:  gympie court kybong kybong piggery and poultry farm mary valley

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