Rescission motion to be brought to council on passed horticultural regulation

Speakers at the last council meeting called the proposed regulations a 'knee-jerk' reaction to the expanding blueberry industry, but with significant impact for other horticultural industries.
Speakers at the last council meeting called the proposed regulations a 'knee-jerk' reaction to the expanding blueberry industry, but with significant impact for other horticultural industries.

Horticultural regulations in the Shire was the hot ticket of debate last council meeting, with chambers packed full of concerned local farmers and industry members.

And since the meeting, Guardian News has found that a rescission motion is to be brought forward at the next council meeting, attesting to it being a contentious issue for councillors too.

“There are several reasons for the rescission motion including Cr Wilson's absence, but first and foremost is that requiring development consent under certain circumstances, particularly in the RU1 and RU2 zones which are essentially our large traditional farms is a matter that has the potential to have a significant impact on primary production in the shire,” mayor Rhonda Hoban said, as one of the signatories to the rescission motion.

The original recommendation was to amend the Local Environment Plan (which requires ministerial approval) and remove horticulture from the list of activities exempted from lodging development applications (DA) in large lot residential (R5), Primary Production (RU1) and Rural Landscape (RU2) zones. 

At the last council meeting, Cr Wilson was absent due to recent surgery and Cr Finlayson had recused himself because of pecuniary interests, leaving Crs Ainsworth, Reed and Hoban voting against the proposal for regulation.

Mayor Hoban said the matter was not widely publicised and is concerned that many did not get an adequate opportunity to voice an opinion or attend last week’s council meeting.

“If supported, all the rescission motion will do is negate the previous resolution and provide the opportunity for further consultation and debate,” Cr Hoban said.