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Changes for Bylaw a Positive Shift for Farmers

9 August 2011

Changes for Bylaw a Positive Shift for Farmers

Yesterday’s council policy committee took action to Franklin farmers’ issues around stock movement to change its proposed Stock Movement Bylaw 2011.

Around 70 concerned farmers joined the meeting after staging a peaceful protest outside the Ngaruawahia district office. Acting mayor Dynes Fulton is confident the meeting is a positive shift towards a modification of the existing bylaw to accommodate the former Franklin area while retaining the council’s requirement for road safety and a reduction in stock damage to our roads.

“We’ve listened and reviewed all submissions and after some good robust discussion we have nailed down where this policy is heading. I trust farmers will be satisfied with the progress made today.”

Waikato district farmers have been operating successfully under the existing stock bylaw for the past five years, the basis for the proposed 2011 bylaw. The former district was predominantly dairy, with the addition of the former Franklin area, the dairy/pastoral split is around 50/50.

“These changes have required a distinction between dairying and pastoral farming which is in line with some of our neighbouring councils,” said Mr Fulton.

“Permits are still the right process, it’s a matter of defining an appropriate lifespan and recognising our pastoral farmers have less need to move stock and the risk to safety and damage is much lower on our quieter unsealed roads.”

The following issues were resolved in principle:

All dairy units require a permit There will be no charge for permits Permits are valid for up to five years Pastoral units will not require a permit if they are on an unsealed road and comply with certain conditions A transition period of seven years for those dairy units required to comply with stock underpass clauses Appropriate dispensation for drainage in the Aka Aka area The Social Impact clause will be reworded Safety signs and equipment will be defined A reduction in the required standard for entranceways

The proposed changes will be written into a draft bylaw to be presented at a reconvened council meeting on 12 September. The draft will be reviewed and a final decision made by the council at its meeting on 27 September.

ENDS

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