Farmers back buffer zones in Port Stephens 

NSW Farmers has helped forge a win for local food production in the Port Stephens shire with Council voting this week in favour of retaining a one kilometre buffer zone between rural land and residential development. 

NSW Farmers Regional Services Manager David Banham said the local council was facing increasing pressure in relation to development and rezoning of rural lands for residential purposes. 

“NSW Farmers started working with the council in 2015 to flesh out a strategy around rural residential development in the Port Stephens area,” Mr Banham said.

“After listening to our members concerns around right to farm issues and a host of other concerns, Council created a strategy that offered acceptable protections for food and fibre production, whilst not unduly inhibiting proper development in the shire.”

“After the recent election of a new Council, there was some discussion about reducing the buffer zone between farmland and residential development from one kilometre to 500 metres.” 

“Our local members, who include beef, horticultural and poultry producers, voiced some concern about this and we have pressed the need to keep the buffer zone as is in the strategy.” 

“There were concerns about future housing developments impacting on daily farming activities and the loss of valuable agricultural land that could be used for local food production.” 

Mr Banham spoke at the council meeting this week, where councillors voted to keep the status quo for buffer zones. 

“Our members who were present at the Council meeting took heart from the emblem of Port Stephens Council emblazoned outside the chambers featuring a Cow and a wheat sheath, indicating that Port Stephens Council values agricultural production in its area.”

“This is a good result for the local farming community and I commend council for taking the right step on this important issue. 

Date: Thursday 14 June 2018
Media Contact:   Michael Burt  | 0428 228 988