By Michael Healey
A $6 MILLION stockfeed mill is being planned for Cobden but if it is approved existing mills in Lismore and Cororooke will be downgraded.
The Corangamite Shire Council has received a planning application from Reid Langdon Pty Ltd for construction of a mill, warehouse, workshop, office, advertising signs and a truck wash bay in Cobden's industrial area.
The company is a partnership between Langdon Produce, which runs the Lismore and Cororooke sites, and Reid Stockfeeds, which has sites in Colbinabbin and Trafalgar.
Langdon Produce owner Ray Langdon said that if the Cobden mill was approved, milling operations at the Lismore and Cororooke sites would move to Cobden.
Mr Langdon said staff would be transferred to Cobden and he said they were excited at the prospect.
``Everyone's quite excited about it being a brand new state-of-the-art mill. It'll be the best of its class around here anyway,'' he said.
Mr Langdon said the future of the Lismore and Cororooke sites had not yet been decided but he said it was likely they would still be used in some way, just not for milling operations.
``Once we have a permit through we'll start to let everyone know. We've got trucks. It could be vehicle repairs.
``Lismore has a grain storage and that all remains part of our business.''
Mr Langdon said the Lismore and Cororooke sites were both too small to house the new mill and Cobden was the best possible location because it was right in the middle of the south-west.
Lismore Progress Association member Steve Baldock said Langdon was the biggest employer in Lismore and any job losses would affect the town.
``If we lose any form of employment in the town that's not a good thing,'' Mr Baldock said.
He said he had heard any changes would have minimal impact.
``If that's not the case the town would be concerned.''
According to the planning application the Cobden mill would employ 19 people to start with and this could increase to 24.
The mill would operate six days a week for 10 to 11 hours a day.
It would be within the Cobden aerodrome flight path and would have a warning light installed.
Shire planning and building services manager Michelle Grainger said the council would assess the application which would be advertised in the next few weeks.