Local law changes spark community concern

LARISSA JUDD: The Centre for Equine Assisted Learning and Psychotherapy manager fears having her horses taken away from her under proposed local law changes.

Matt Dunn 


THEY’RE proposals that have left South Gippsland ratepayers bamboozled and angry.

The main question on many people’s lips is, “Why?”

Council’s proposed changes to local laws have led to petitions and public meetings. The laws will affect everything from keeping pets to riding motorbikes on a Sunday.

Proposed changes include:

  • Forbidding people lighting a fire “in the open air or in an incinerator on any land within the shire”, excluding farms.
  • Restricting the use of recreational vehicles on farming properties to 7am and 6pm weekdays and 9am and 5pm on Saturdays.
  • Forcing landowners to apply for permits to operate recreational vehicles, unless the property is deemed to be a commercial farm.
  • Cutting the number of animals kept on properties, with people outside farming zones forced to apply for permits to keep more than a prescribed number of pets (even having more than 12 chickens will require permits for each additional bird).

Council told The Star that applying for a permit would cost ratepayers $57 per year, but would cover all additional animals. 

Centre for Equine Assisted Learning and Psychotherapy’s Larissa Judd, whose business operates at Fish Creek, is worried she may be forced to give up some of her horses under the proposed changes.

While she is in a farming zone (which precludes her from the effects of the potential changes), her rates notice puts her in “rural residential”, which means a permit for all of her eight horses. 

As a business that has spent tens of thousands of dollars to establish itself, there is a rising sense of dread that a city-centric agenda could sink her.

It’s the reason why she has made the push for a public meeting at Fish Creek Hall tonight at 7.30pm (Tuesday, December 10).

She is hoping she may get someone from council to attend.

“I think there’s a lot of people who are unaware they’ll be affected by it. People say you can challenge anything that goes against you, but I worry about the potential changes,” she said.

“We want to clarify the facts and find out who it is likely to affect. As people in a rural zone we all tend to do our own thing for the most part.

“I’d really like to see people fired and getting their submissions in to council. For me the fear is, what if council says, ‘No, you can’t have a permit for that many horses.’ These horses are part of my family.”

A formal complaint to the proposed changes must be made by January 10.

For more details log on to: oursay.org/southgippsland/locallaw

Short URL: https://thestar.com.au/?p=30520

Posted by on Dec 10 2019. Filed under Featured, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Recently Commented

  • wstaton: I guess it means he will not be able to attend any council meetings saving us ratepayers his claims for...
  • rojo: Awesome work Lynette
  • vbresident: I read Ms Page’s offering and nearly choked laughing. We have a property on the second estate in...
  • brad: Hi Robbie. Would you like your comments to run as a letter to the editor too? If so, we just need your full...
  • robbiemc: The local council should not be wasting ratepayers money to build a rail trail. And more to the point there...