[Victorian Government Media Release]
PLANNING Minister Justin Madden has appointed a taskforce to investigate the planning issues for the Mildura Older Irrigation Area and to resolve a long term position for landowners.
Mr Madden met yesterday with Mildura Rural City Council which presented him with a newly adopted position which will be provided to the Mildura Planning Taskforce for consideration.
"There is a need for long term strategies to be in place to maintain options for rural land use and to provide support for agriculture and rural production in Victoria," Mr Madden said.
"Agriculture, and in particular horticulture and the associated manufacturing, packaging and processing of local produce, underpins the economy of Mildura and is an important contributor to the State and national economies.
"The Taskforce will attempt to strike a balance to ensure the protection of the local agricultural sector, and land fragmentation from subdivisions, and the needs of land owners and the community at large.
"Long term strategies need to be put in place to maintain options for rural land use and to provide support for agriculture and rural production in Victoria."
The Mildura Planning Taskforce will include an independent chair, Duncan Malcolm and representatives from:
- Mildura Rural City Council;
- Department of Primary Industries;
- Department of Sustainability and Environment;
- Regional Development Victoria;
- Lower Murray Water;
- Mallee Catchment Management Authority; and
- Department of Planning and Community Development
"The Taskforce in particular will examine the preferred farming and urban settlement pattern in the context of current and long term social, economic and environmental prosperity of the Mildura region," Mr Madden said.
Mr Malcolm is the immediate past Chair of the Gippsland Coastal Board, Chair of the Victorian Environmental Assessment Council, a Member of the Victorian Coastal Council and a Trustee of the Australian Landscape Trust.
Specific recommendations are expected to be made in early November concerning the first priority and a final report will be provided to the Planning Minister in December 2009.
Source: Premier of Victoria <http://www.premier.vic.gov.au/media-releases/>.