Mayor calls on Minister to approve rural lands strategy
Eurobodalla Mayor Liz Innes is calling on the NSW Minister for Planning to intervene and approve Council’s Rural Lands Strategy without further delay.
Council submitted the strategy to the Department of Planning and Environment in July after an exhaustive four-year process, only to have approval stalled by letters of objection from the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage and the Rural Fire Service.
“Council staff have responded to Department of Planning and Environment to address the concerns raised by both agencies,” Clr Innes said.
“Since then, site visits were arranged for representatives of the two agencies and the Department to locations where additional lots or dwellings are allowed by the planning proposal.
“This basically involved four NSW Government bureaucrats driving around looking out the window of a car for four days.
“But what really beggars belief is that these same agencies have been around the table with us for four years preparing the strategy.
“To do this at the eleventh hour is insulting to the process our community has worked through.
“In my view, Council and the community have prepared an excellent rural lands strategy. It protects key agricultural land and environmental values and provides some opportunities for further development in our rural areas.
“These are not ill-conceived concepts. Our strategy has been developed with great care over a long period by skilled people with local knowledge and significant community involvement.
“I caught up with Minister Stokes at the coastal conference last week and urged him to intervene. I am now publicly calling on him to approve Eurobodalla’s rural lands strategy planning proposal without further delay.
Meanwhile, Member for Bega Andrew Constance has confirmed he has spoken with both Minister Stokes and the Minister for Environment Mark Speakman, requesting the matter be progressed as quickly as possible on behalf of the community and council. Minister Constance said he expects the Rural Lands Strategy to be approved without further delay. Media Release