Intensive Agriculture

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Sarsfarming's picture
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Last seen: 3 weeks 4 days ago
Joined: 18/09/2018 - 1:29pm
Intensive Agriculture

Hi. I'm new to the forum but have followed for a while. We have a farm in south gippsland vic. Our land is 37.62 hectares. We are wanting to construct a dwelling on our land so we can farm the land and manage it on a daily basis. We are under the 40 hectare minimum to be able to build 'as of right'. Our council are asking for us to prove we intend to use the land for 'Intensive Agricultural use'. We agree land under the 40 hectares should be kept for farming and encourage owners to maintain the land.
We are only asking for a small dwelling at the top of the farm for minimal disruption to the land. We have been running beef on the farm for 3 years but we are finding it very difficult to up keep fences, water supply, weeds, feed etc and we have lost a number of cattle due to issues that wouldn't have resulted in a loose of those cattle had we been living there.
So I guess at this stage I'm just wondering what definition of Intensive Agriculture am I missing?
The council don't seem to care about the extreme restrictions on our overly step topography and inaccessibility which is a long term management issue which we plan to address which once addressed and managed will allow us to intensify the agricultural use.

rolly @ fi's picture
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Last seen: 3 weeks 6 days ago
Joined: 09/09/2011 - 11:03am

Hi there and welcome to the forum.
Firstly I would say the first thing to do is talk to council or at least obtain a copy of their guidelines. That way you should get "their" definition of intensive agriculture. I would advise to get their definition as local government definitions and titles a frought with ambiguity.
Once you have their definition you can build a case to propose what you wish to do is within their guidelines.
However I would stress that I think grazing cattle on pasture would most likely be not classed as intensive agriculture. But you really need a copy of their guidelines so you can build a case around them.
I hope this helps and good luck.
Rolly

Sarsfarming's picture
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Last seen: 3 weeks 4 days ago
Joined: 18/09/2018 - 1:29pm

Thank you for your comment.
I have asked the council for 'their' definition and all they could give me was in the 'Land Use Terms' and only had definition of 'Intensive Animal Husbandry'. No-one could find a definition of 'Intensive Agricultural Use'. The terms have similar meaning but 'Intensive Agricultural Use' is not limited to animals. We do have plans to diversify from just beef cattle but the land management issues need to be addressed before any aspect of agriculture can be intensified.
Ie; water supply issues, animal safety issues, fencing issues etc we have lost a fair few animals due to on-going issues like i just mentioned when if we lived there would allow ALOT more time for maintenance and timely tending to injured or sick animals.
I would understand if our land was flat/flatish that council would have a valid argument but our land is extremely steep and the previous owner was an off-site farmer which meant weeds, fencing, road maintenance, water supply were not on his list of 'things to do'. He chucked 40 head of beef and left the farm open to them. The property was very run down, weed infested, fencing was pretty much boundary only etc so we have done a good amount of work to get actual paddocks and troughs set up.
I feel if the council refuse our application we will have no choice but to sell our animals and leave the land empty as we believe whole heatedly in all animals health and welfare but without daily managing we would be in breach on the Animal Health and Welfare Act as we could not confidently leave animals there knowing the issues with water supply, with fencing etc.
I don't understand how the council have the right to determine what is a viable agricultural use and what is not?! Nor can I understand how a planner of the council know, understand and dictate what farming is all about?!
Applications should be assessed on an individual basis. Being dictated to by words from a planning scheme does not give allowances for individual topography or conditions??!!

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