Farmers Air LEP Concerns

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Lismore’s farming community has voiced its concerns about a new draft Local Environment Plan.

This week the council held two public meetings on the issue, with three more scheduled.

Local beef and dairy farmer Kath Robb says farmers are worried about rezonings under the draft.

She says another issue is the loss of use rights if farmers don’t use their land for a year because there are many situations in farming where that could happen.

“This could be locking up after a BJD outbreak on your property when one of the management practises is to lock your property up for 12 months with no cattle on it,” Ms Robb said.

“Or a drought or a medical condition to the farmer working on the land or perhaps the passing on of an estate with a will settlement,” she said.

But Steve Denize, the council’s manager of integrated planning, says the rezoning of agricultural land does not change the existing use of the land.

“It certainly still permits farming,” he said.

“What the Rural-Two zone is about really is when something other than farming is going to happen, such as a tourism development, one of the considerations when actually assessing that DA will be what sort of effect that development has on the scenic value of that area,” Mr Denize said.

But Ms Robb says the new RU-2 zoning will create conflict between land uses.

“How are we going to function as a primary producer with adjoining land which is a tourist facility with people coming there that have no background in rural practises seeing things going on in our farm and objecting and us having to justify what’s been carried on on that land for possibly 50 to 100 years,” she said.

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