Kagome’s eyes are on farmer’s Kelsh Rd dam

March 03, 2018

AFTER a failed bid eight months ago Kagome has come back with a new plan to store their recycled water in Echuca.

AFTER a failed bid eight months ago Kagome has come back with a new plan to store their recycled water in Echuca.

And instead of getting a permit to build a whole new dam the processing giant looks set to pump their irrigation water further out of town.

Campaspe Shire council rejected their planning proposal to build a water storage dam on the corner of McKenzie and Benson roads, Echuca in June and Kagome lodged a re-evaluated plan last week.

The new plan sets to pump their water (used for washing vegetables, floating vegetables and cleaning the equipment and factory floor at the food processing facility on Cornelia Creek Rd, Echuca) to a farmer’s dam on Kelsh Rd.

And Kagome’s boss believes it is the best way forward for the community and the company.

‘‘We have been in consultation with the affected community around where the water will go and largely it has been positive feedback,’’ Kagome chief executive Jason Fritsch told the Riv.

‘‘It is important to understand that the new location has an approved farm plan which includes the building of a new dam.

‘‘We will need to pump our water out there which is going to be an expensive exercise.

‘‘The farmer came to us after our initial proposal was defeated and said he had this approved plan and he was going to build the dam whether we used it or not.’’

Mr Fritsch said the water that would be stored in the dam contained no chemicals.

‘‘It is important to us to be transparent with the community and for them to know that no chemicals are used at Kagome and the water is good enough for us to use to transport our tomatoes,’’ he said.

‘‘Our initial proposal was rejected mainly because of the location. So we went back to the drawing board and although we will not have to build 2.5 to 3km of pipelines out to the dam, it is the best option.’’

There were 41 objections to the last proposal so to ensure the community was aware of their new one Kagome held a meeting on Sunday.

‘‘We letter box dropped information to all the residences around the area of the dam and held a meeting on site on Sunday to address any concerns,’’ he said.

‘‘There is no point in us doing this on the cheap or trying to go under the residents’ noses.

‘‘We are being very transparent with this and are very aware residents will have concerns with a project like this and that is why we had a community meeting on site so they could voice those concerns.’’

Campaspe Shire regulatory and community services general manager Paul McKenzie said council’s investment attraction manager had been working with Kagome in their efforts to find a new location for their proposed water storage dam.

‘‘Kagome, through their consultants, lodged a planning application with council’s planning unit on Friday, February 23 for water storage (utility installation),’’ he said.

‘‘The site selected has an approved whole farm plan including area for storage.

‘‘The application will now be reviewed and once sufficient information has been received will be advertised in accordance with the requirements of the Planning & Environment Act 1987.’’

After the application has been advertised to the public council officers will make a recommendation to council and they will once again vote on whether to approve or deny Kagome’s application.

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