Ratepayers reject Lismore LEP
A MEETING of more than 200 ratepayers rejected Lismore Council's draft Land and Environment Plan (LEP) on Tuesday night, describing it as ‘flawed' and should be withdrawn.
The meeting, called by Lismore MP Thomas George, also urged that submissions on the draft LEP be extended by a minimum of 12 months.
“The meeting reflected the consultation processes that were being used by Lismore City Council for the LEP up until the meeting convened by me, have been a clear failure,” Mr George said yesterday.
A series of no confidence motions passed at the meeting said the council had not followed State Government recommendations in preparation of the new LEP for rural lands; had not adequately consulted with rural landholders; and a number of maps on which the draft is based, including flood-prone maps, were wrong.
However, Lismore Council general manager Paul O'Sullivan hit back yesterday stressing that the draft LEP is exactly that, a draft released for community comment.
“The basic premise contained in the five-point (motion) is neither reasonable nor factual,” he added.
Mr O'Sullivan said he strenuously objected to the ‘unjustified' criticism by Mr George about the consultation process.
Coo-ee Property Rights Group president Kel Graham told the meeting the draft was based on a State Government template that should be rejected.
“People don't understand the implications of the LEP,” he told The Northern Star yesterday. “One of the main issues I have is the environmental zones which have all been placed on agricultural land.”
He said although there was an ‘existing use' clause that would allow farming to continue, that only lasted for 12 months.
“If a farmer takes his cattle off for more than a year he forfeits those rights,” Mr Graham said. “The farmer would have to apply for council approval if he wants to put them back.”
Lismore's executive director of sustainable development Brent McAllister conceded this was true, but said it only affected 2.4 per cent of the shire.
The draft is due to be debated by council this month but councillor Graham Meineke said yesterday he would propose it is deferred.