Small-scale farm planning controls
16 November 2017
Ms Ryan -
Small-scale pig and poultry farmers in my electorate are deeply concerned by Labor's change to planning controls for Victoria's animal industries. The government plans to subject low-risk, small-scale pastured pig and poultry farms to greater scrutiny and compliance costs.
The changes would see pastured producers with 500 chickens treated the same as an intensive producer with half a million birds in a shed. A pastured pig producer with more than eight sows would be subject to the same regulations as an intensive producer with 800 sows in a shed. An existing poultry farm would be able to open a new range for up to 150 000 birds without any of the restrictions placed on a farmer with 500 birds.
The changes will enforce a 100-metre buffer zone from neighbouring dwellings on pastured poultry farms with up to 450 birds and pig farms with up to eight sows, rendering small-scale farming on land less than 200 metres wide impossible. In my view this approach is heavy-handed, and it risks forcing small-scale farmers in my region out of business.