Not every farmer has the same opinion about the Tweed Shire Council's Rural Land Strategy. Photo: Scott Powick
Not every farmer has the same opinion about the Tweed Shire Council's Rural Land Strategy. Photo: Scott Powick

Our cane, food growers weigh in on council’s rural strategy

NOT every Tweed farmer has the same opinion on the Rural Land Strategy.

Representatives from the cane industry and the region's fruit and vegetable farmers say they were adequately consulted on the Tweed Shire Council's document.

Tweed River Cane Growers Association president Rob Hawken said they were happy to work collaboratively with the council to assist the sugar industry.

<<READ: 'Final staw': Angry farmers vow to turf out council>>

"We think the council has been considered in what they do and we will see how that progresses," the Duranbah cane farmer said.

Mr Hawken said the RLS's outcomes were satisfactory for 100 active cane growers in the Tweed and hundreds more employed directly or indirectly through the industry.

However the third generation farmer said time would be the ultimate test for policies.

<<READ: Tweed council defends controversial rural land strategy>>

"Time will tell as to how well they work, we won't jump to too many conclusions. We are keen to see how things," he said.

Mr Hawken said he acknowledged the point that most of the region's cane farms were on better quality lands than the majority of cattle farmers.

Tweed Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association president Doug Paddon said the situation for food farmers on the Cudgen plateau was different as the land was flood and frost resistant and bores had helped combat the drought.

<<READ: Farmers claim rural strategy complaints fell on deaf ears>>

Mr Paddon said at this stage he was happy with the clauses in the RLS and worried about conflicts from subdividing farmland or adding too many additional houses.

"What you have to listen to is the history, as soon as someone gets an additional house it changes hands within about three years and someone who isn't familiar with farming moves out there for the lifestyle," he said.

The third generation Tweed farmer explained a farmer in the area had been forced to stop irrigating at night because the noise disturbed neighbours.

"I think the RLS is a good compromise at this stage."