Agri­cul­tural plan fails to meet needs of pro­duc­ers says body

Central and North Rural Weekly - - NEWS -

THE re­cently re­leased south-east Queens­land re­gional plan, Shap­ing SEQ, has failed to prop­erly ad­dress agri­cul­tural pro­duc­ers’ con­cerns around longevity and pros­per­ity with the on­go­ing is­sues pre­sented by ur­ban en­croach­ment on the re­gion’s ru­ral in­dus­tries, ac­cord­ing to an agri­cul­tural body.

Queens­land Farm­ers’ Fed­er­a­tion pres­i­dent Stu­art Ar­mitage said while it was en­cour­ag­ing that Shap­ing SEQ only made limited changes to the ex­ist­ing ur­ban foot­print, it still fell short in de­liv­er­ing the cer­tainty the sec­tor has long sought, and a co­her­ent strat­egy for agri­cul­ture and the ru­ral ar­eas was still miss­ing.

“Shap­ing SEQ has a very clear agenda in cater­ing for pop­u­la­tion and other in­dus­try growth. Un­for­tu­nately, this has come at the ex­pense of a clear and co­he­sive plan that in­cor­po­rates and con­sid­ers the im­por­tance of some of the state’s in­ten­sive agri­cul­ture op­er­at­ing in the peri-ur­ban ar­eas,” Mr Ar­mitage said.

“Agri­cul­tural pro­duc­tion in SEQ is dom­i­nated by com­modi­ties that ei­ther sup­ply fresh to ur­ban mar­kets or rely on pro­cess­ing and pack­ag­ing for lo­cal and ex­port mar­kets. These peri-ur­ban agri­cul­tural in­dus­tries de­liver a holis­tic com­mu­nity and eco­nomic value that is de­val­ued and some­times un­sus­tain­able once forced out­side their ex­ist­ing lo­cal prox­im­ity.

“Pop­u­la­tion growth should not and does not need to come at the ex­pense of agri­cul­tural busi­nesses op­er­at­ing in SEQ. A sim­pli­fied plan­ning frame­work is needed to de­liver a sin­gle clas­si­fi­ca­tion for agri­cul­tural land that pro­tects it from de­vel­op­ment and de­liv­ers cer­tainty for lo­cal govern­ments and farm­ers.

“QFF com­mends the govern­ment for re­tain­ing the con­cept of Ru­ral Precincts, but does call on the govern­ment to de­liver the guide­line that de­fines the plan­ning process. This will go a long way to al­low­ing the im­ple­men­ta­tion of de­tailed plan­ning for agri­cul­tural de­vel­op­ment within the re­gion.”

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