Anyone with an interest in the future use of rural land in the Tweed shire are being urged to attend an information session on 1 February.
Organised by the Tweed Shire Council, the session will be the last chance to hear about the Draft Tweed Shire Rural Land Strategy, which is now on exhibition.
The strategy seeks to paint a picture of what rural land in Tweed Shire may look like in 20 years, how it might develop and how it will be managed to preserve the quality of the rural Tweed lifestyle.
Tweed Shire Council Senior Strategic Planner Stuart Russell, who has overseen preparation of the Draft Strategy and who will conduct the information session, said the rural Tweed landscape has changed significantly in recent decades.
‘During its heyday, it is believed that more than 1750 dairies operated in the Tweed and about 1150 pig farms,’ Mr Russell said.
‘Rural land in the Shire is now a complex mix of land uses ranging from arable land around Cudgen where much of the State’s sweet potatoes are grown and the extensive floodplains that produce around 30 per cent of the State’s sugar cane, to the rolling slopes where grazing is mixed with hobby farms and rural lifestyle properties, tourist accommodation, rural industries and the Shire’s rural villages.
‘The draft strategy proposes more than 140 actions aimed at balancing the competing uses for rural land, to protect agricultural land, the natural environment and rural landscape in a sustainable way.’
Key policy directions and actions of the Draft Strategy pivot around meeting the housing needs of the Tweed’s growing community and lifestyle preferences in harmony with rural industry, the diversification of value-adding opportunities to better support and promote Tweed’s farming and produce sector, greater flexibility to respond and capitalise on emerging tourism markets and a range of other actions to assist the local Tweed economy and preservation of its natural environment on which so many industries rely.
Comments on the Draft Rural Land Strategy can be made up to close of business on Wednesday 28 February.
For more information and to download a copy of the Draft Rural Land Strategy visit yoursaytweed.com.au/rurallandstrategy.