Why a Rural Lands Strategy?
Agriculture is currently and has been for some time the largest economic contributor in the Shire. Council recognises the importance of agribusiness and rural industry to the shire and has therefore engaged consultants GHD to undertake a Rural Lands Strategy.
The Rural Lands Strategy has four key focus areas of rural lands, environmental lands, economic development through innovation, diversification and tourism as well as balancing the growth of urban development through reviewing rural residential lands.
The Rural Lands Strategy aims to protect and enhance agricultural lands throughout the Shire to support the existing agribusiness sector whilst providing opportunity for innovation and diversification across local agricultural and rural industries generally. To aid with innovation and diversification the strategy will explore opportunities for economic development through tourism and complimentary industries to agriculture and the natural environment.
The strategy will also identify and work to protect and enhance areas with high biodiversity values across the Shire, ensuring there is no adverse impacts from development on environmental values.
A review of the rural residential lands aims to balance growth to ensure not adverse impacts on the natural environment or to agriculture through land use conflict and utilisation of land best suited for agricultural industries.
The rural land strategy process comprises multiple stages and documents to inform the final rural lands strategy. These documents provide background and demonstrate the development of the strategy over time which also allow Council the opportunity to engage with the community and local stakeholders to gain valuable input. The key outcomes of the rural lands strategy once finalised in early 2021 will be recommendations for amendments to the Dungog Local Environmental Plan 2014 as well as amendments to Councils development control plan, policies and local strategies.
For further information regarding the Rural Lands Strategy please see the other tabs for stage 1 and 2 of the strategy which have been completed to date.