Platinum Dairies files four consents for expansion

A Southland dairy company has sought consents to expand its operations.

Platinum Dairies Ltd has applied to Environment Southland for four consents: a renewal of a discharge permit to discharge agricultural effluent to land from up to 1000 cows, a renewal of a water permit to take and use 120,000 litres a day of groundwater, and two land use consents: to use land for three calving pads, and to use land for farming in the form of a dairy farm expansion.

Platinum Dairies chairman Jarred Collie spoke on the behalf of the company for the application at a hearing this week.

"Over our 10 years-plus on the farm, we have reinvested a considerable cost in the property to try and make it a great place to live and work. We’ve often spent over and above to try and improve the farm both from an environmentally and sustainable perspective," he said.

"We are all involved in farming to play the long game and ensuring our assets are well looked after is important to us that our future generations have the same opportuneness to enjoy the land as we have."

Environmentalist Jenny Campbell made a submission in which she expressed her concern over the environmental impacts of the proposed consents, including the potential further degradation of waterways in the area.

"Over the years I’ve seen alarming changes in the land use here, with more trees being cut down, rivers and aquifers being degraded and polluted by agriculture contaminants, particularly with the more recent rise in dairy farming. A rise in cancer rates with strong links to the chemicals used and a rise in irrigation depleting our aquifers."

Southland Regional Council senior consents officer Jade Linda McRae said in her report a visual inspection of the farm’s effluent system had been conducted and reviewed and that it was consistent with key policies in avoiding and mitigating effects on water quality.

She said the three calving pads will also allow the applicant to stand cows off pasture during adverse weather and the effluent discharged is collected in the effluent system ensuring it can be managed.

The hearing has been adjourned until a later date when the applicant will make his right of reply.

By Ben Tomsett



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