Blayney, Cabonne, Orange Rural and Industrial Lands Strategy Review to begin

The production of a 30-year Strategy, focusing on employment-generating development on rural and industrial land within the Blayney, Cabonne and Orange Council areas will commence shortly. This project has been initiated as a joint-venture between the Councils and the Department of Planning and Environment.

The focus of the project is to produce a 30-year Strategy, focusing on employment-generating development on rural and industrial land and promoting the region as a key location for primary production, value adding and industrial development.

The strategy will capitalise on the interconnected nature of the three Councils; a strong combined economy, development opportunities and common issues.

The project will be used by the Department as an example of an innovative approach to sub- regional strategic planning that can be applied elsewhere in NSW.

The Department of Planning and Environment has appointed Consultants to complete Stage 1 of the Project; a comprehensive analysis of the study area including analysis of primary production, the social and cultural profile, environmental profile and policy framework.

Stage 1 of the project has been funded by the Department to the value of $50,000. Completion of the project requires commitment of funds from all councils for the following stages: consultation with stakeholders, preparation of draft strategies for rural and industrial land and policy recommendations that guide local plan preparation.

Overarching aims of the project are to produce:

A Rural Land Use Strategy that: Protects important agricultural land while recognising the impact climate change may have on the productivity of land in the future; Explores opportunities for both extensive and intensive farming, new rural industries, value adding; Recognise areas of particular environmental or landscape value; Considers areas suitable for different forms of rural land use such as intensive farming, tourism and conservation; Responds to the diverse rural landscape, investment in primary and secondary production and current external pressures; Supports established and future rural industries and investment; Develops clear policies relating to the future of rural land, specifically addressing management of existing fragmented landscapes; Addresses policy gaps recognising the important environmental and landscape values which exist, particularly around Mount Canobolas.

An Industrial and Employment Lands Strategy that:

Provides a framework to guide the growth and development of industrial and employment areas in the Sub Region over the next 30 years; Provides a short, medium and long-term approach for the management of industrial and employment land; Identifies opportunities for the diversification of employment opportunities in the Sub Region; Identifies critical infrastructure requirements to support existing and new industry investment; Investigates land use options within constraints of resource overlays, heavy industry and mining buffers; Develops clear policies relating to the future of industrial and employment land, specifically addressing management of adjoining land uses and resource availability.

The Review will consult widely with Councils, State Government agencies, rural landholders and commercial interests and will update the Rural and Industrial Lands Strategy last reviewed in 2008.

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1 Comment on "Blayney, Cabonne, Orange Rural and Industrial Lands Strategy Review to begin"

  1. Robert Sanders | 18/08/2018 at 2:37 pm | Reply

    The following letter to the editor (from 2016) points out why a review is crucial in planning and managing the different land uses in our area.

    To the Editor.
    The ” Grand Plans” for the “Airport Business Park” , ” Jobs and Growth” at what cost?

    The Orange City Councils ambitious and optimistic proposal to re-zone hundreds of acres that they have purchased with rate payer funds has hit a major brick wall in the lead up to Christmas. Both Cabonne and Blayney Councils have in no uncertain terms told Orange City Council that they will not support the proposal until a complete review of the “2008 Land Strategy Agreement ” that was put in place to determine suitable sites for such purposes is fully reviewed. This comes on the back of the areas new State member Phillip Donarto saying the same thing in calling for a review and halt on the proposal until the amalgamation is resolved .
    So just how did it even get to this stage you might ask! , and many of us in the community and in particular those who would have to live close to such a facility have asked just that question. As this proposal sits on top of Oranges most pristine water aquifer (being the” Canobolas Basalt Aquifer”) we have often wondered why it was even considered. It would seem that the Council would like us to believe there is a high demand for industrial land and that the Airport precinct is ideal , this couldn’t be any further from the truth if they tried.
    Since Orange City Council have spent twenty million dollars with the Airport upgrade the Council have spent a further twelve million dollars land banking property around the Airport. Given the airport upgrade has not produced the perceived 400 jobs that the upgrade had in visaged and also taking into account the very real large amount of rate payers funds being spent on such a speculative venture then the public has the right to be concerned with the Councils true intensions.
    Should our local Council really be acting like a multi-national developer putting the Environment at risk and going against the LEP (Local Environment Plan ) that they have up-held and protected for over forty years. In the words of the Councils GM at a public meeting on the proposal in June ” We are having a crack”!
    The Council would like to see much of Oranges present under-utilised industrial areas re-zoned for housing as is happening in north Orange .
    Since Orange City Council first put this Idea forward for an Industrial area around the Airport they have not been up-front with the community on many levels even though it’s the communities money being used. Given many of the documents submitted to the Department of Planning for the Industrial proposal have come from the Airport upgrade works we have very real concerns that not enough studies into the effects of such a proposal have been undertaken (i.e. Environmental impact statements, in particular studies into the possible effects on groundwater and the Basalt Aquifer) , we questioned how Orange Council arrived at the figures (called weightings) for the Airport area during their own in-house review of the” 2008 Land Strategy Agreement “, the response shocked us at a recent Council meeting, with the town planner admitting they made them up! Yes you heard right , the Council used their staff to fabricate documents in order to make the Airport precinct look favourable for heavy industrial use, despite the area sitting on top of a pristine water aquifer that feeds directly into hundreds of local bores (drinking water bores) and Oranges water supply.
    This along with several other document discrepancies and inadequacies should be enough to bring an open and public enquiry as to how this has got this far. We all want to see “Jobs and Growth” and we all would like to believe in a sustainable and progressive future but proper process needs to be followed in order to protect everyone’s rights and the Environment from indiscriminate development.
    You really have to ask yourself just who will benefit from such a development, a multinational company who may bring in workers from a foreign country, a real estate agent who could sell more ground, or indeed a developer that will increase their portfolio. With such a substantial risk to the ratepayers money involved, one could argue that Council have gone too far this time and indeed lost focus on what the community expects them to be doing, such as roads, rates and rubbish.
    With an amalgamation pending we should be asking our Councils to consider the broader needs and requirements of all the council areas and take stock of our natural resources such as land and water before committing to unwarranted spending and development that a plan like this will have on the broader community for years and years to come.
    Keep in mind a new administration overseeing the broader area may have a wider perspective and indeed value the communities opinion and input.
    So have your say on the Industrial proposal and send your submission to Council by 19th January 2017. You can visit our community website at
    to learn more.

    Robert Sanders
    Spring Hill & Surrounding Districts Consultative Committee Inc
    Spring Terrace Water Group Inc.

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