The Victorian Farmers Federation applauds the Victorian Government’s approach to new planning reforms that largely moves away from feed based definitions.
The VFF supports the new grazing definition that allows producers to build infrastructure needed to manage animal welfare in emergencies without a planning permit. The clear land use definitions relating to piggeries and poultry farms are also encouraging.
“However a planner needs clear definitions on what requires a permit and what farming situation doesn’t”, said David Jochinke, VFF President.
“Planning is about land use and development not land management and production systems”.
Some of the proposed planning changes are confusing and counter intuitive.
Reducing bushfire risk in the Green Wedge A Zone is important. The role of grazing in these areas is a valuable contribution to community safety – the VFF does not support the requirement for a grazing planning permit in these areas as it increases the red tape unnecessarily.
Mr Jochinke said, “We do not support the planning permit exemption for some piggeries and poultry farms for a number of reasons. Thirty three pigs is a large number of pigs even on five hectares. We feel these are the questions to be asked of all pig and poultry farms given these aren’t grazing animals and will always need additional feed”.
The State Government is hosting a series of workshops for farmers, community representatives and planners – Planning for sustainable animal industries – in October 2017.
“We encourage all farmers to attend one of the workshops that are currently being held across Victoria to understand the impact of the proposed changes and we are keen to hear from farmers how these planning reforms will work for them”, said Mr Jochinke.
Further information including dates and locations of the planning reform workshops can be found online.
The VFF will be providing a formal response to the State Government proposed planning reforms in November 2017. Any feedback about how the proposed changes affect you should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org