ECA backs Rural Lands Strategy

The Eurobodalla Coast Alliance has backed the Eurobodalla Shire Council’s Rural Lands Strategy and expressed its concern at last ditch attempts to derail it.

At its first meeting this year ECA called on all political parties to support the RLS and ensure its rapid passage through State Parliament before the next election. ECA President Russell Schneider AM said opponents of the strategy were either badly informed or being deliberately misleading about its impact.

“This strategy has been developed over the last eight years in the face of extreme opposition from Sydney based State Government bureaucrats. Environmental extremists, the Greens and a number of planners seem intent on forcing their personal agendas onto our rural community,”Mr Schneider said.” If anything the Strategy does not go far enough.”

“The fact is the strategy promotes the development of rural based enterprises that could make small holdings viable and provide employment opportunities that are sadly lacking in the shire.

“The additional residential development the strategy allows in rural areas is minimal. Of the 38,000 hectares which comprise the Shire, the Rural Lands Strategy allows for a modest 122 new lots and 255 new dwellings.

“Any developments that require development consent from Council would be assessed against NSW government biodiversity, land clearing and bushfire management legislation, just as they are now.

“It is important to note that any State Environmental Planning Policy overrides the Local Environment Plan.

“The E3 environmental zoning that has been removed in the strategy was inaccurate and prepared in a most unscientific manner. But regardless of this, the environmental controls are still there and rural landholders will still be subject to the most stringent planning and review processes." ECA President Russell Schneider AM

“This RLS is good for the shire, good for the economy, and good for the many rural property owners who want the opportunity to work their rural holdings in harmony with the environment. And we are talking thousands of people in the Eurobodalla, not just a few wealthy squatters as the Beagle bloggers would have you believe.

“On this issue Council has done the right thing by an important section of out community and it is time that they, along with the Rural Lands Committee, were given recognition for holding out for so long against a relentless opposition.”

Mr Schneider said ECA was concerned by comments from the State Labor candidate Leanne Atkinson that a Laobr Government would overturn the Eurobodalla Rural Lands Strategy..

“This would be a most misguided action which would unfairly impact on the many rural property owners in the Shire. I would urge Ms Atkinson to commit to supporting the Strategy rather than oppose it.”.

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