Bellingen restricts berry farms
RESTRICTIONS placed on blueberry farms in the Bellingen Shire seek a balance between environmental and agricultural needs, according to Bellingen Mayor Dominic King.
This week the council voted in favour of new controls imposed on blueberry farmers.
Cr King explained the motion was put before the council following significant consultation within the community but Nationals Member for Oxley Melinda Pavey prior to the meeting called on the council not to hinder the growth of agriculture in the shire.
“The new regulations that apply to blueberry farming have been carefully designed using existing State Government guidelines, which outline optimum buffer zones to adjoining dwellings and watercourses in order to minimise both environmental damage and negative public health impacts,” Cr King said.
“Council recognises the important contribution that agriculture makes to the local economy and has therefore endeavoured to keep these regulations simple and fair.
“The revised approach applies only to blueberries, because this type of farming is particularly intensive and can cause significant damage if not managed correctly.”
Cr King said other tiers of government were reluctant to enforce legislation that govern blueberry farms.
The council said there will be further opportunity for the community and industry to engage as the matter moves through the planning process.
CALL: Mayor Dominic King.