The paper outlines the potential land use conflicts associated with the industry and various measures to mitigate these conflicts.
The paper outlines the potential land use conflicts associated with the industry and various measures to mitigate these conflicts. Eliza Goetze

Have your say on intensive plant agriculture

THE much-anticipated discussion paper on intensive agriculture is now open for public comment.

It was released today and has already been shared widely by the action groups concerned about the growth of the industry and its impacts on environmental and public health.

The Intensive Plant Agriculture Discussion Paper outlines the potential land use conflicts associated with the industry and various measures to mitigate these conflicts which includes the requirement for development consent.

Coffs Harbour City Council last week made the decision to put the paper on exhibition. It forms part of council's overall Rural Lands Review process.

It outlines the importance of agriculture to the economy of the region while recognising a range of community concerns with the rapid growth of the industry including adverse impacts on waterways, spray drift, excessive water use and illegal clearing of native vegetation.

Speaking in support of the motion to put the paper out for public comment, Cr John Arkan acknowledged the level of concern and potential for division in the community.

"Let's not beat around the bush here - a large proportion of farmers are from an Indian background and it can became an 'us and them' issue.

"If there's something wrong going on, let's not stop people having a chat about it and by doing that we will be better leaders. Let's go ahead with this," Cr Arkan said. 

It will be on public display until May 15. To make a submission follow this link.