Council rejects small farm bid


Council rejects small farm bid

Pushing his case: South Gippsland Shire Councillor Don Hill argues for a 30 acre lot title at Mardan, watched by fellow councillors Maxine Kiel, Jeremy Rich and Andrew McEwen at the recent council meeting.


SOUTH Gippsland Shire councillors have said they do not want to run the risk of losing farmland from agricultural production in the long term future.

Council recently voted to reject an application by Rosemary and Graeme Trease of Mardan to realign their property boundaries in order to separate a 30 acre biodynamic grazing operation from their current dairy.

The Treases applied to council to restructure two titles on their 320 acre property, with the property now over two titles, each of 160 acres.

Council planners were concerned the 30 acre lot was too small to be of value to agriculture in the future, and contravened state planning policies that aimed to protect agriculture and avoid inappropriate rural residential development.

Cr Don Hill supported the Treases, saying their intensive farm on the 30 acre lot was viable and a legitimate use of the land.

“This is a travesty of the planning scheme if council votes against this,” he said.

“They are already farming the land, as they have been doing for a long time.”

Cr Hill said if the 30 acre title was not approved, the 320 acres would become two lots of 160 acres, one of which would not be able to function as a dairy due to lack of infrastructure.

Cr Ray Argento said approving the 30 acre lot could set a precedent for future small lots to be created in the shire, and therefore he could not support the application.

Cr Jeremy Rich said council should support diverse farming, but mayor Cr Lorraine Brunt was concerned about the viability of a 30 acre farm.

Cr Andrew McEwen disagreed, saying, “There is an assumption that only larger scale farming is viable.”

He urged council to show “common sense” and said the region already has eight truffle farms, two saffron farms and 12 garlic farms. He added small scale intensive farming creates jobs.

“We have got the closed for business sign up in South Gippsland,” he said.

Cr Aaron Brown said council planners followed correct process and recalled how council once lost its planning powers for 18 months after a series of decisions allowing development in rural areas on an ad hoc basis.

The planners’ recommend to refuse the application was supported by councillors Brown, Skinner, Argento, Meg Edwards, Brunt and Maxine Kiel. Councillors McEwen, Rich and Hill were for.



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Posted by on Dec 28 2017. Filed under Featured. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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