Land owners uged to attend meetings

THE State Opposition's spokesman for Rural Affairs, Andrew Fraser, has urged property owners to attend public meetings regarding the draft Native Vegetation Regulations 2004.

The meetings are sponsored by NSW Farmers and the Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources (DIPNR).

Mr Fraser said there were many potential problems with the draft regulations and all property owners should be aware of them.

"Issues such as the content of property vegetation plans 'must be in such form as the Minister may from time to time approve', clearly indicates these regulations can be varied at any time without consultation," Mr Fraser said.

"These regulations also exclude the Sydney basin.

"I am absolutely amazed that the infrastructure buffer distances in the draft regulations have only been identified for gardens, small holdings and the western division.

"Holdings east of the western division will not have their buffer distances for infrastructure advised until after February 2005."

Mr Fraser said it was astounding that despite the inordinate length of time the Government had taken to prepare these regulations, these distances were not in the public arena during the consultation process.

"We have no assurances from the Minister or DIPNR that when these regulations are made that they will be subject to a public consultation period," he said.

"Once these regulations are in place all land owners will be severely restricted in what they can do on their properties."

He said it was imperative that all land owners attend a meeting.

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