Following is the original article from the Star Weekly:

A proposed container deposit centre in Point Cook narrowly passed a meeting a of Wyndham council on Tuesday night, despite objections about it’s potential impact on animals at the neighbouring pound.

Wyndham council’s planning committee voted 5-4 in favour of awarding a planning permit for the centre which will be in the same building and share the same roof as the council run pound and animal adoption centre.

In August, council voted to lease the property in Wallace Avenue, Point Cook, to not-for-profit, Recycle4Change, who are the Wyndham network operator for Victoria’s new Container Deposit Scheme.

Under the lease, Recyle4Change will use half the property for its container deposit facility and the pound and animal adoption centre will continue to occupy the other half.

However council received seven written objections to the proposal, most in relation to animal welfare.

Speaking on behalf objectors at the planning meeting, Wyndham vet, Dr Karen Davies, said while the container deposit facility was an admirable project, it was not suited to sharing a building with an animal shelter.

“Animals particularly dogs and cats are highly sensitive to noise crowding and stress and the proposed refuse disposal facility with its associated machinery and potential for elevated noise and vibration pose a serious threat to the wellbeing of animals under council’s care,” Dr Davies told the chamber.

Speaking on behalf of Recycle4Change, Henry Wallace from urban planning firm Ethos Urban, said the facility would be subject to stringent conditions including restricted operating hours, a site management plan and additional noise, vibration and acoustic testing, to avoid causing the animals harm.

He said the company’s existing facility in Geelong proved this could be done.

“That site (North Geelong) is just 50m from a residential zone and cannot be felt or heard in the residential area and there have been no concerns raised,” Mr Wallace said.

Deputy mayor Josh Gilligan said the strict conditions placed on the facility meant he would support the awarding of a planning permit that he would otherwise have opposed.

However, Cr Robert Szatkowski said even with the conditions “the potential risk to these animals outweighs the potential benefit for having this facility at that location.”

Mayor Jennie Barrera cast the deciding vote, joining councillors Glligan, Hegedich, Maynard and McIntyre in support, with councillors Szatkowski, Marcus, Shaw and Ramesh against.

Planning Committee Meeting 12 December 2023 (Video – Refer to item 2. around the 54 min mark)