NSW Farmers is calling for the ‘Right to Farm’ to be legislated in a Regional Planning Act, ensuring agriculture’s place in our economy and our community is protected from inappropriate development.
This will reduce land use conflict and act to preserve our most productive agricultural land for farming purposes.
It is not uncommon for those unfamiliar with the realities of rural life to find unexpected disturbances when they relocate to the countryside - excess dust, adverse smells, and noise from machinery and livestock are all features of country living.
‘Right to farm’ policy aims to limit the ability of neighbouring landholders to seek action against farmers undertaking lawful agricultural practices. If legislated, this would protect farmers from nuisance complaints involving activities that are simply part of running a productive farm.
In 2015 the NSW government surveyed local councils to gather data on the nature and extent of these land-use conflict matters.
The results have been released and support our insistence that this is a significant issue affecting individual farmers and agriculture more broadly.
Up to half of complaints about land use practices by farmers were ‘nuisance complaints’ and related to compliant agricultural activities.
It also highlighted that many complainants were unfamiliar with the realities of living in an agricultural community.
Agriculture and other developments can, and must, co-exist. As our cities and residential areas expand, conflict with longer-term land uses such as agriculture will occur.
How we manage these conflicts is important to ensuring we can continue to supply our domestic and international markets with food and fibre.
Education about the role of agriculture in our community and economy is essential to conflict-free coexistence.