TAMWORTH could cement itself as the chicken capital of the southern hemisphere with a bid to almost double local meat production lodged with council.
Chicken processor Baiada will hatch one million additional birds a week at its Country Road facility if a development application with Tamworth Regional Council is approved.
It currently hatches 1.3 million birds a week under the existing approvals.
In documents lodged to council, Baiada says it needs to ramp up its production to meet projected demand for chicken meat in coming years.
“Projections have the consumption of chicken meat at 51.5kg per person in Australia for 2022/23,” its report said.
“To ensure adequate supply is maintained it is important that significant expansion of the industry is facilitated through maximum utilisation of existing infrastructure and the planned development of new facilities.”
Despite drought conditions some have labelled the worst in a century, Baiada still sees Tamworth as an ideal location for production due to its proximity to grain.
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The one million chicken a week increase to production won’t require any new building works at the site.
It’s understood the development would more than double heavy vehicle movements from the Westdale site, while the around-the-clock operation will be staffed by 40 full-time and part-time employees.
The development application’s statement of environmental impact said there would be “no change to the existing waste management strategies implemented on the site for the current hatchery operations.”
This comes after Baiada was charged more than $200,000 in a year for non-compliant waste dumping.
Council gave the processor a number of months to improve its non-compliant dumping record.
Baiada was contacted for comment.