The Range News is Maleny's premium Weekly Newspaper delivered each Friday
to the People of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland from Glasshouse to
Kenilworth and west to Peachester.

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City Defers Decision
by Cameron Outridge

Caloundra City Council at its last General Meeting, voted to defer adoption of the controversial Vegetation Local Law.   "This will enable further discussion with representatives of the farming community,'' said Cr Anna Grosskreutz.

"Having been made aware of the Federal Government's Productivity Commission Inquiry set up with the express purpose to look into the 'Impacts of Native Vegetation and Biodiversity Regulations' it is in the Council's interest to find out more before adopting another law,'' she said.

About the Inquiry:

The introduction of regulatory regimes by State Government, particularly within the last five years, has raised concerns over possible negative impacts on farming practices, productivity, property values and returns and the investment behaviour of affected landholders.   Some of the area's farmers would be most interested in would be compensation issues, negative economic and social impacts of legislation, the degree of transparency and extent of community consultation when developing and implementing laws and legislation.

According to the Federal Government's Issues paper the final report on the Inquiry is due 14th April, 2004.   The council is required by the State Government to either include a local law governing vegetation - or as part of the new City Plan the State will take care of this for them.

"During the extensive consultation process and public meetings most farmers felt it better to let the council handle the making of the law.  "Although it is fair to say there was acceptance by exhaustion and the council making the law the lesser of two evils,'' said Cr Grosskreutz.   "With 56 different pieces of environmental legislation impacting on rural land in NSW alone, nationally it is having a depressing effect on values and productivity."

Our thanks once again to Cameron & Tanya Outridge
of the Range News Newspaper for this story.