Findings from the Peel Food Zone investigation area

Page last updated: Friday, 24 June 2022 - 9:39am

Closed-system intensive animal production such as cattle feedlots, shedded poultry and piggeries

The closed-system intensive animal production scenario includes cattle feedlots, shedded poultry and piggeries.  It is assumed facilities are well designed and use engineered structures (sheds, hard stand) to house livestock and to control and manage waste so it doesn't enter the environment.

Opportunities are offered by established infrastructure, specifically the Restricted Access Vehicle (RAV4) and three-phase power line networks in the central and northern section of the proposed Peel Food Zone.

Depth to maximum groundwater level is a key criteria for intensive livestock enterprises which need to be located on land with water tables greater than two metres from the surface throughout the year.

Data from a maximum groundwater depth model, provided by the then Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, was used in the GHD analysis. Initially most of the  Peel Food Zone investigation area was mapped as unsuitable for intensive livestock due to the large areas of low lying land which is frequently waterlogged during winter.

Landfill is commonly used on the coastal plain to raise the land surface, improve site drainage and increase the separation to shallow water tables. It was therefore assumed that where average water table depth was between 0.5m and 2m, landfill could be used to increase the separation to the shallow water table, meaning these areas were constrained, and more costly to develop, but not unsuitable. Including this assumption, increases the proportion of Peel Food Zone investigation area which may be  suitable for closed-loop intensive livestock production.

Another major constraint to closed-loop intensive livestock production is the need to maintain a large buffer to existing and planned rural living areas. Such areas are common on the the southern half of the Peel Food Zone investigation area and resulting in significant areas being assessed as unsuitable for intensive livestock production.

Click here to access the closed-system intensive animal production suitability map.

Contact information

Heather Percy
+61 (0)8 9780 6262