NSW Farmers’ report, November 29, 2016

NO SUPPORT: NSW Farmers will not support the Wagga to Ladysmith rail trail until a majority of land owners back the plan.

NO SUPPORT: NSW Farmers will not support the Wagga to Ladysmith rail trail until a majority of land owners back the plan.

LANDHOLDERS affected by the proposed Wagga to Ladysmith Rail Trail met with NSW Farmers recently to discuss their response to the proposed trail.

The clear conclusion was majority opposition from those directly adjoining the planned route.

Despite claims by rail trail proponents – this is not an open and shut case.

Landholders have concerns and these need to be acknowledged. NSW Farmers’ policy is very clear on this issue.

We will only support rail trails with the support of the majority of adjoining landholders. NSW Farmers will not support the Wagga to Ladysmith rail trail until this majority can be proven.

The current proposal is light on detail, but somehow has been portrayed as unmistakably beneficial for all.

Those who will be affected are rightly sceptical, and many feel threatened, especially when there has been no attempt by proponents to meet with them as a group and explain the proposal.

There is no accountability and transparency for proponents in individual meetings.

Landholder fears about biosecurity, trespass, privacy, cost shifting, and what a trail will mean for the future of their land use need to be heard. No landholder is under the impression that they own the rail line.

They are fully aware that it is government owned infrastructure. But what must be acknowledged is that this proposed rail trail would have an impact on adjoining landholders.

There are examples of NSW Farmers’ members who potentially would have the general public allowed 24/7 access merely a few hundred metres from their back door.

This is not about farmers versus the community, it is about common sense and respecting and recognising the views of those who are most directly impacted by this proposal.

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MY SOUTH West region stretches to Hay and Griffith in the west, down to the Victorian border (including Leeton, Narrandera, Coleambally, Jerilderie, Berrigan, Bunnaloo and Deniliquin) and I now also cover Wagga Wagga up to Gundagai and down to Albury (including Tumut, Lockhart, Urana and everywhere in between).

Simone Norrie is the South West Regional Services Manager for NSW Farmers. You can contact Simone on 0427 773 495 or norries@nswfarmers.org.au

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