Fish farmer Peter Penrose.
Fish farmer Peter Penrose.

Mayor might make fish farm happen

MAYOR Mick Kruger yesterday vowed to talk with his council officers to see if he could fix the Susan River fish farm debacle.

“I’m going to see them on Tuesday and see if we can get a reasonable outcome for both parties,” Mr Kruger told the Chronicle.

On Wednesday Peter Penrose pulled the pin on his 5.3ha fish farm venture that would have given jobs to as many as 65 locals.

The Chronicle published his story yesterday.

“I finally gave up on this $4 million venture because I have been stuffed around by this council since June and now they want me to apply for a material change of use that would cost me another $6179.”

Earlier yesterday Mr Kruger told the Chronicle he believed the sticking point in giving the fish farm the go-ahead was an earlier town planning decision on the property that only allowed the venture to operate on a “two-point-something area”.

“That’s not the same as the 5.3ha site approved by the DPI and F and for which Mr Penrose has a permit.”

“I know what he’s talking about but someone in council didn’t do their job right back in 2004,” Mr Penrose said.

“Then my property was part of a 400-odd hectare property owned by fish farmer Bill Keating. Bill had a town planning permit on his property, then known as lot 81, for farming silver perch on an area over two hectares.

“He subdivided the property into lot 81 and lot 8, the latter which I now own. But the council carried over that town planning rule to cover my property too, which is ridiculous and unfair because I have a DPI and F permit to farm on 5.3hectares on my lot 8.”

But Mr Kruger said it was normal that town planning approvals usually went with the land even though it was subdivided.

“They follow on. Maybe Mr Penrose didn’t understand that.

“But now I know this detail I will speak with my officers on Tuesday and see what can be done. The farm would be good for the area.”

Mr Penrose said: “It’s not as though I’m a novice at this sort of business. “I really want this project to work.

“I’m pleased the mayor has taken a personal interest.

“I’ll wait for his answer.

“This whole affair has been without logic.”

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