Farm planning worry

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PRINCIPLES: Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance president Tammi Jonas, in the North East this week, is deeply concerned about inconsistencies in the Victorian government’s draft animal industries planning changes. PHOTO: Jamie Kronborg

AN Australian farming and food organisation believes the enterprise of North East small farmers free-ranging pigs and poultry will be at risk unless the Victorian government makes radical changes to draft animal industries planning controls.

The Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance – which represents about 250 small-scale farmers – has this week launched a petition to alert the government to the effect of the draft changes on farmers and their communities.

Alliance president Tammi Jonas, who on Sunday and Monday was in the North East where there is a growing number of small-scale producers, told the Times-Observer the government in 2015 had established an Animal Industries Advisory Committee.

It had been set up to determine how the state planning provisions might, as the government described the strategy, “better support the establishment and expansion of productive…animal industries…balancing environmental outcomes and community expectations”.

Planning Minister Richard Wynne has subsequently released a ‘Planning for sustainable animal industries’ discussion paper about the draft recommendations which is open for public comment until November 14.

In contention is a proposal to introduce a system of “graduated” planning controls.

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