Nyngan farmers are prepared to ignore proposed new native vegetation guidelines that they fear could make their properties unworkable and force many off the land.
Nanjing Night Net

Submissions on the draft

regulations closed yesterday with Bogan Shire’s missive expected to be just one of many received by State natural resources minister Craig Knowles from the NSW farming community.

Bogan mayor Ray Donald says the main thrust of the submission is the lack of opportunity for a socio-economic study on the effects of the proposed new guidelines on communities.

A core issue in the struggle to establish guidelines acceptable to those making their living from the land, and the conservation movement, is the clearing of invasive scrub or regrowth.

Farmers claim when left alone, woody weeds steal the moisture needed to maintain and encourage the spread of native grasses.

In the past they have blockaded a Nyngan property to prevent entry by Government inspectors.

When the NSW Government last year replaced more than 70 natural resources committees and groups with 13 catchment management authorities, the hope among locals was that “excessive bureaucracy” would be removed.

But meetings pitched at explaining the draft regulations have left some rural communities concerned that little change is in the wind.

Farmers are arguing for the tailoring of regulations to suit areas with different natural resource characteristics as opposed to one set for the entire State.

And they are worried that the process of obtaining vital long-term native vegetation plans for their properties may come down to obtaining a green light from a computer program.

“Sensible negotiations” are what Cr Donald wants to see when the submissions are reviewed by the Government, NSW Farmers’ and conservation representatives, probably later this month.

“But if we don’t get suitable guidelines we will walk away from them,” he said yesterday.

He is worried that the regulations on top of drought and low commodity prices will rob the bush of the next generation of farmers.

“We are seeing younger farmers in our shire leaving their properties and going to work off farm,” he said.

“They are stressed and fed up.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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