News

Lemnos cannabis facility site address revealed

By Rodney Woods

Lemnos will be home to the new cannabis farm in Greater Shepparton.

In Country News last week, it was revealed that Lemnos was the likely location for the Cannatrek proposal, and 280 Lemnos North Rd has been confirmed as the exact address.

Lemnos local Bernie Macgill, whose property neighbours the 72ha hydroponic farm as well as a recently approved solar farm, was sent a letter which confirmed the location.

Mr Macgill said he was mostly concerned about the council's decision to not allow objections, the impacts of the sewerage system during a flood and the threat of trespassers on his property.

The letter, dated June 18, explained why the permit could not be objected to.

"The use of land for crop production within a glasshouse is crop raising, which is a section 1 use in the Farming Zone — accordingly the use does not require a permit," the letter, signed by the council's statutory planner Andrew Dainton, said.

"The only permit triggers are therefore under the LSIO (Land Subject to Inundation Overlay) and FO (Floodway Overlay) — the purposes of these controls principally relate to flooding."

The company said Lemnos was chosen for a number of reasons including a perceived abundant water supply and long hours of sunlight.

Mr Macgill said he had no doubt Cannatrek would be able to make a profit despite high water prices.

When asked about the secrecy of the location, the company revealed it was restricted in what it could reveal under the 2016 Narcotics Drug Amendment Act and company policy.

Greater Shepparton City Council statutory planning team leader Braydon Aitken explained the works Cannatrek was doing to address the sewerage concern, and the process the council went through to come to the decision to approve the site.

"The applicant is working with EPA to gain approval for an appropriate waste water system that meets EPA requirements," he said.

"The application for buildings and works in the Floodway Overlay and Land Subject to Inundation Overlay was referred to the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority and notified to Goulburn-Murray Water. Both authorities had no objections to the application.

"Traffic, drainage, civil works and relevant amenity considerations were assessed by council planning and engineering staff."

It is expected the project will be completed before the end of 2020.

At full production, the company aims to produce 160 tonnes of medicinal cannabis each year.