THE FINAL report of the Mildura Planning Taskforce has been released. The report emphasises the importance of agriculture, particularly horticulture and the associated manufacturing, packaging and processing of local produce, to the Mildura economy.
The purpose of the taskforce was to "identify the longer term strategic future of land used for irrigated horticultural in the Rural City of Mildura, including the MOIA ([the Mildura Older Irrigation Area] the older pump districts of Mildura, Merbein and Red Cliffs) and the NIA ([New Irrigated Area] the private diverters in Nangiloc, Colignan, Lake Cullulleraine and Lindsay Point)."
The taskforce aimed to address land use issues relating to farming and rural land uses, urban settlement, social issues and economic issues.
In its report, the taskforce believes that "maintaining and supporting horticulture is vital for the continued economic prosperity of the municipality." The report seeks to minimise rural living and subdivision in agricultural zones, protect land for horticulture, accommodate growth in planned estates around existing towns and hamlets, minimise land lost to building development and separate existing houses from productive land.
This week Planning Minister announced approval of amendment C65 to the Mildura Planning Scheme which aims to implement some of the recommendations of the Taskforce. The amendment aims to:
- Protect land within the MOIA for horticulture;
- Facilitate growth and expansion of the horticultural businesses within the MOIA;
- Ensure land values reflect the horticultural value of the land;
- Restrict new dwellings within the MOIA; and
- Minimise conflict between non-horticultural uses and horticultural businesses.
Mildura Planning Taskforce, Final Report, December 2009.
Mildura Planning Scheme, Amendment C65, Explanatory Report.