COUNCILLORS have returned from this year’s Local Government NSW Conference with mixed success addressing the region’s issues.
Cabonne Council put forward a motion on the right to farm, calling for legislation to ensure food security and sustainability for future generations.
The motion said although the state government had provisions to preserve prime agricultural land, there were numerous occasions when urban encroachment alienated that land, affecting farmers’ ability to continue normal farming practices.
It went through virtually unaltered, but it was only after amendments from Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie councils addressing blueberry spraying had been knocked back.
Mayor Kevin Beatty said blueberry spraying might indeed be an issue in those areas, but they were probably better dealt with separately
“If there’s no farms, there’s no food, if there’s no food, there’s no living,” he said.
Meanwhile, Orange City Council put forward a motion for state and federal governments to pursue a long-term approach to recycling, which protected ratepayers from financial impacts, given China’s decision not to take waste unless it complied with strict conditions.
Councillor Joanne McRae said much of the discussion at the two-day conference revolved around the recycling solution, especially since NSW relied on Queensland to process certain materials.
“NSW doesn’t have that facility,” she said.
“We can’t rely on just shipping our waste somewhere else.”
She said Orange’s was the only motion to deal with the long-term strategy, rather than the immediate problem and it passed without debate.
Cr McRae said Local Government Minister Gabrielle Upton addressed the conference, but did not offer any extra solutions to the waste dilemma.
Councillors Beatty, Paul Mullins, Libby Oldham and Marlene Nash represented Cabonne Council, while Orange mayor Reg Kidd and councillor McRae and Kevin Duffy represented Orange City Council.
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