16 November 2018
Greens candidate for Wollongong Council, Jamie Dixon, has called on Council to protect agricultural land before it is all developed for housing and industrial uses.
Mr Dixon said:
“Given that large areas of New South Wales are still in desperate drought conditions, and Wollongong City Council staff have been pushed to donate to farm relief appeals, it makes no sense that even more Illawarra farmland is being rezoned for development.“With existing developments to reduce the amount of green space in the Lake Illawarra catchment area, and serious questions arising about the supply of housing even meeting our city’s needs, I am stunned that another agricultural holding is to be concreted over, this time as light industrial land.“I personally know farmers out west who would give their eye teeth for 11 hectares of prime arable land. Shellharbour Council is allotting part of their open areas to make hay for starving livestock, but, here in Yallah, we’re turning our back on the problem, and creating an even bigger one, in terms of poorly managed runoff, for our Lake.”
Mr Dixon is making a plea for better judgement, and a realisation of the beneficial food production capacity of the Illawarra.
“Wollongong City Council needs to take a stand against this rampant over development, and understand that they have a responsibility to protect food production capacity.“There is an abundance of under-utilised industrial land around Port Kembla, and a desperate need for employment there. This is fertile land, that can grow local produce, reduce food miles, and remind our children that food doesn’t just come from a supermarket.“There are a number of locally based community farming initiatives, with sound business models to act as precedents.“The Greens want to see this part of our local economy grow, and be supported by Council. Wollongong should not think of itself as just a labour pool for Sydney – we’re a city of our own, and we need to think about providing more for ourselves.”
Jamie Dixon is available for comment at the Dapto Ribbonwood Centre prepoll voting centre today
Contact: Jamie Dixon 0403 402 114