Strategic Business Panel Meeting Minutes 9 May 2018
Strategic Business Panel Meeting
Huonbrook Valley Farm, Huonbrook
Wednesday, 9 May 2018
Minutes of the Strategic Business Panel Meeting held on Wednesday, 9 May 2018
File No: I2018/828
PRESENT: Cr M Lyon, Cr A Hunter, Cr P Spooner
Staff: Shannon Burt (Director Sustainable Environment and Economy)
Tania Crosbie (Economy and Sustainability Coordinator)
Sharyn French (Minute Taker)
Rob Van Iersel
Cr Spooner(Chair) opened the meeting at 3pm and acknowledged that the meeting was being held on Bundjalung Country.
Cr Simon Richardson
There were no declarations of interest.
There was no business arising from previous minutes.
File No: I2018/793
A Presentation by Regionality led to a discussion with Council and farmers about the top line research results of what the farming sector needs to operate more successfully and sustainably into the future.
The outcomes from this research clearly identified a number of initiatives the sector would like to see Council undertake:
· Employ a full-time Farm Liaison Officer to be the one-stop-shop for all information about farming. This role would be a conduit for:
o new farmers or new lifestylers to the area
o lifestylers wanting to enable farming on their land
o farmers wanting to connect with other farmers, producers or distribution networks
o farmers requiring information from Council
o Council and NOROC for farming education, communication and advocacy.
· Improve communications and the narrative around farming to show that it is valued and a vital industry in Byron Shire.
· Include farming page in Council’s website to house all the latest information to assist farmers. The final report by Regionality will be placed on this page for the community to refer to.
· Protect farming land and work together to re-activate farmland that is lost to lifestylers and hobby farmers.
· Establish an Agriculture Industry Cluster that is representative of all farmers.
· Continue to improve land use and environmental mapping plus planning procedures to assist farmers negotiate regulation.
· Train planning staff on agricultural specific information.
· Work with other Councils to develop case studies to demonstrate to the NSW Planning Department and DPI how the current regulations constrain smaller Northern Rivers farmers from being innovative and successful.
The discussion and findings from the Strategic Business Panel meeting will be reported to Council in June 2018.
There being no further business the meeting concluded at 5.30pm.