South-east Queensland Logan City Council has reclaimed a Chambers Flat dairy farm which produced milk across four generations and was a significant part of the area's history.
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ICONIC: Dairy farmer Ivan Wendt on the property that will become a council treatment plant. Dairies continue to close across Australia.

The council, which resumed the land this week, will use it to build a wastewater treatment plant at Pleasant View Road.

Family of the farm’s owners, Ivan and Dellas Wendt, say it is a sad occasion but are focusing on their future, as well as their part in Logan’s past.

The Wendts were supposed to be out of the property on June 30, but had a few days’ grace when the region went into a three-day COVID-19 lockdown.

The family, Ivan’s daughter Maree said, left on the original day, and were saddened by the occasion.

“It has been really, really hard for mum and dad, and the whole family really, to see the farm go,” Mrs Wendt said.

“But the council needs the farm for other purposes, and you can’t do much about that. It’s sad for the family, that’s for sure.”

Ivan Wendt’s ancestor, Adolf, established the farm after emigrating from Germany in 1863.

He came to Australia on the La Rochelle, with wife Emilie and daughter Marie, 5. The journey from Hamburg to Moreton Bay took 81 days.

“They arrived on August 7, 1863,” Mrs Wendt said.

Farm ownership went down through the generations, from Adolf to son Adolf, known as Otto, to Stanley and then Ivan.

Ivan, who has farmed the land his entire life, oversaw a herd of about 400 cows.

“Some years it got up to about 400, and others it got down to about 200,” Mrs Wendt said.

“It has always been a progressive dairy farm, and quite a productive dairy farm as well.”

The Wendts produced milk for Pauls, Parmalat and Lactalis.

In the 1930s, Ivan’s father Stanley would rise at 2am to milk the cows and deliver the product to Birt’s Cold Stores on Stanley Street in Brisbane.

Cream from the farm would not go as far.

“The cream would go to the Kingston Butter Factory,” Mrs Wendt said.

Council said the plant would service more than 170,000 people.

In 2019, residents started a petition to oppose it, calling on council to instead build it at Yarrabilba.

Cr Scott Bannan said he felt for the Wendts and the history which was lost.

“The sad part for me, is that is another dairy farm we have lost,” he said.

“It’s not just the fact that we have lost the Wendts’ farm. This was a decision made long before I turned up in the building.”

He said he would fight for residents to get the best outcome from development in the area, including a redesign of Chambers Flat Road.

“My job now is to get the best result for the community,” he said.

Nominations are open for Fonterra’s board election but a repeat of the drama that rocked the vote three years ago can be ruled out.

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