Planning issue on farmers’ minds

EUROA planning adviser Troy Spencer has been at the coalface of the right to farm debate that recently saw ministerial intervention over a Murrundindi Shire Council decision.

The council refused to approve a planning permit for Alexandra Wagyu producer David Blackmore in opposition to its own planning officers’ advice.

Celebrity chef Neil Perry started an online petition that has reportedly received 124,000 signatories in favour of the Blackmore operation and it has become a hot topic of conversation for Strathbogie Shire farmers.

The right to farm has become a contentious issue in Victoria, with another well-publicised case in 2014 involving Echuca beef farmer John Watson, also represented by Mr Spencer.

“The Victorian Farmers Federation had got us to help them out on a few planning issues,” Mr Spencer said.

“They had us on the books as being able to mediate on intensive issues.”

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