Growing confidence in community garden

HELPING HANDS: Community gardens are popular right across Australia and Bellingen hopes to join in.
HELPING HANDS: Community gardens are popular right across Australia and Bellingen hopes to join in.

THE push to establish a community garden in Bellingen has taken another step forward.

At Thursday‘s meeting of Bellingen Shire Council, a motion to put the draft plan of management for the gardens on display for public comment was passed, but not before two councillors flagged their strident opposition to the proposal.

Councillor Gordon Braithwaite said he opposed even going through the process because he believed the land in question in McCristal Drive, North Bellingen, had already been categorised as a public reserve.

“I am worried about a public reserve being taken away. I oppose public playing fields being taken away from the 33 children who live in the street,” Cr Braithwaite said.

The meeting subsequently heard that while the deposited plan for the McCristal subdivision indicated the land was already public land it hadn’t been dedicated as a public reserve.

Cr Bruce Cronin said he believed the site was wrong.

“There are access problems with McCristal Drive and I think those who want a community garden should seek an alternative site in a more rural and less congested location.

Cr Shaun Tuohy said while he noted the comments of both of his colleagues the debate was only about whether the draft plan of management should go on display.

“This is a procedural matter and as such not really about the gardens at this stage,” he said.

“The DA process will flush objections to the gardens proposal.”

Councillors Child and Tuohy both spoke of the need to extend the exhibition process.

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