Environmental zone review welcomed

NSW Farmers Association president Fiona Simson.
NSW Farmers Association president Fiona Simson. Contributed.

NSW Farmers have welcomed moves by the NSW Government to have environmental zones on the Far North Coast reviewed.

The NSW Farmers Association president, Fiona Simson, said today that local members had worked hard to ensure that draft Far North Coast local environmental plans delivered sensible outcomes for farmers and enable sustainable food and fibre production.

She said the proposed environmental zones for this region could have had devastating consequences for agriculture.

"We are delighted that Minister Hazzard, Minister for North Coast, Don Page, and Lismore MP Thomas George have all stepped in to ensure a common sense outcome," Ms Simson said.

Local environmental plans are prepared by local councils to guide planning decisions for local government areas. NSW Farmers has been calling for the removal of the standard instrument - local environmental plans - which has seen city-based planning applied to rural and regional settings.

"I must thank Minister Hazzard for assuring our members that the NSW Government is not going to stop farmers from carrying on the business of farming through overly restrictive environmental zones," Ms Simson said.

"As custodians of approximately 72% of the land mass of NSW, farmers take their role as land managers seriously, striving for a sustainable balance between productivity, environmental and social drivers," Ms Simson said.  "Imposing environmental zones on top of existing environmental protections serves only to quarantine productive agricultural land."

The proposed environmental zones for the Far North Coast have been excised from the plans in the Ballina, Byron, Lismore, Kyogle and Tweed council areas. The Department of Planning and Infrastructure will now review the use of these controls in consultation with other government agencies and stakeholders.

Topics:  brad hazzard don page nsw farmers association thomas george