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Back agricultural land

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August 30, 2017

A drome aerial photo showing part of the farming land proposed for industrial zoning as part of the Seymour Structure Plan.

The 10-to-20-year future strategic plan for Seymour (see page 6) recently released by Mitchell Shire Council wants to destroy an incredible 450hectares of prime agricultural land to make way for vast areas of concrete and corrugated iron.

The shire wants to create a massive industrial zone stretching along almost 4km of the scenic Goulburn Valley Hwy (north-bound), destroying prime agricultural land that is a vital community asset.

This proposed area represents an incredible 1363 per cent increase on current vacant and available industrial land for future development.

A contradictory report published by Mitchell Shire just over 12 months ago claimed there was 33ha of industrial-zoned land available around Seymour which would be sufficient for the next 67 years, according to its own research on past and predicted demand.

The current availability of industrial land means that the Mitchell Shire’s proposal is both excessive and unsupported by its own research.

Why, you may well ask?

Over 200ha of this extraordinarily flawed intended land grab by Mitchell Shire was classified in the 2014 Hume Regional Growth Plan as ‘‘strategic agricultural land of national, state, regional or sub-regional significance’’.

Given that a fundamental objective of our state’s planning policy is to protect productive farmland, the shire’s proposal clearly fails to conform to our state and national vision for food supply and security.

Our great nation was developed by riding on the sheep’s back.

If we want fresh and healthy Australian food on our plates to sustain the wellbeing of successive generations, we must say ‘no’ and put a stop to the destruction of our precious and prime agricultural land.

The value of prime agricultural land, which is quite obviously a finite resource, must be cherished and protected at all cost by Mitchell Shire, Victoria, Australia and indeed the world at large.

For continued prosperity, primary production export incomes rely substantially upon the sustainability of productive soils.

We require long-term meticulous vision from our strategic planners, not pie in the sky fancies that lack basic commonsense and sound judgment. The industrial aspects of this structure plan are ludicrous and gut-wrenching to affected landowners.

Readers, if you value our agricultural industry and quality Aussie food then please make a submission to Mitchell Shire and let council know it makes no sense for prime agricultural land to be lost to industrial zoning which should be placed on less productive land.

Now is the time to act.

— Lance Marke (farmer), Seymour

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