Something is rotten – a fowl smell in the air

SUPER STINK: Rob McIlveen has stepped up his complaints about the smell coming from the Baiada chicken abbattoir on Bridge St. Photo: Geoff O’Neill 100614GOB02

SUPER STINK: Rob McIlveen has stepped up his complaints about the smell coming from the Baiada chicken abbattoir on Bridge St. Photo: Geoff O’Neill 100614GOB02

A STINKER of a problem has retired Tamworth businessman Rob McIlveen hot under the collar – and he’s been back on the street reminding residents of an issue he says has been around so long it’s still smelly.

He’s argued his case for a few years now and every now and then, he pulls up stumps in Bridge St in West Tamworth and puts his case again, just to press his point.

He’s been at it again this month.

Mr McIlveen parked his little black Suzuki outside the Baiada processing plant, with a large sign attached to the back of his vehicle saying “Council + Baiada stink. Something is rotten”.

“The place stinks and it has done for years,” Mr McIlveen told The Leader.

Mr McIlveen has owned the property on the corner of King and Bridge streets since 1977, located directly opposite Baiada’s processing plant.

About 10 years ago he closed the doors of Mac’s Takeaway, citing the odour issue as one of his main reasons for doing so.

“How could you operate a fast food outlet with that stink in the air?” Mr McIlveen said. 

“Back then I considered the smell was unhygienic and a danger to public health – and nothing has changed over the past decade.”

The stinking situation is nothing new, as he said the problem had been going on for almost 40 years.

“In 37 years council has not rectified the problem, which is getting Baiada to move their abattoir out of town,” he said.

“The level and type of community involvement undertaken by council has been inadequate when you consider the size of the Baiada abattoir development, situated in the centre of Tamworth, and the fact that livestock (poultry) is transported daily through city streets to be slaughtered.

“For over 20 years the council failed to undertake genuine and effective consultation with people adjoining and adjacent to the slaughterhouse.

“Council’s seeming indifference has allowed expansion to proceed unchecked beyond reasonable limits for the location.

“Many of council’s procedural matters relating to the abattoir have been corrupt. They have not done what’s expected of them.”

In a recent paper war with Tamworth Regional Council, Mr McIlveen said he had been denied his right to protest the

latest expansion plans of the poultry giant.

“Their most recent game with me was to reject my written objection to further abattoir development on the pretence that my hand-delivered correspondence missed their 5pm deadline, which it most certainly did not,” Mr McIlveen said.

“Council has known about the environmental odour problems for years but choose not to rectify the problem. To quote Shakespeare, clearly something is rotten, but it’s not in the state of Denmark. It’s right here in the heart of Tamworth.”

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