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as process fires-up
regulations and technological advancements in
the application of inputs would be considered.
"Perhaps the clarification needs to be made
to have the exact meaning of terminology of
agricultural reserves spelt out so we, as stake-
holders, understand if this really means 'viti-
cultural parks and reserves' tolerating
broadacre agriculture," he said.
Prof Young said the "whole point" of careful
early scoping work was to identify opportuni-
ties and challenges for all stakeholders.
"There is no reason you cannot have a good
broadacre landscape coexisting with quality
industrial sites and viticulture," he said.
"The examples already exist in places, such
as Tuscany and Portugal. It's also about where
you draw the boundaries and engaging the
whole community so people know the bene-
Ms Johnston said the Environment Institute
would conduct workshops during the next
four months to "coordinate and progress the
This would include wide stakeholder con-
sultation, examination of the likelihood of
success of the bid judged against the criteria
for WHS and other comparable sites, explor-
ing administrative and financial implications
of mounting a bid, identifying resource impli-
cations, preparing a budget and producing a
business plan "that allows each council to
assess whether to invest in the bid process in
A broadacre farmer who crops about 500
hectares in the Barossa/lower north and has
12ha of winegrapes, Michael Heinrich says the
process for WHS listing must involve different
agricultural sectors working side-by-side.
"Often when this type of thing is proposed,
people (the proponents) have a very narrow
vision," he said.
"But I'm interested in hearing both sides of
"I would also hope the process involves a
cross-section of people involved in agriculture --
not just viticulture."
Ms Johnston said
cost-benefit analysis for mounting a bid would
be a priority.
"We need to identify what kind of mecha-
nisms are involved," she said. Providing a
forum for councils to share knowledge, iden-
tify areas of conflict to resolve them and
involving a wide range of organisations, such
as SAFF and Adelaide Hills' agricultural ref-
erence group, would broaden the discussion
Independent agricultural consultant Peter
Cousins says planning in the Barossa region
has never been a strong point of development
boards and councils.
"The way things have changed has been
disgraceful, so the last thing broadacre farm-
ers need is to be straddled with more bureau-
cracy, having to comply with land use
changes that are forced on them without any
consideration in terms of bufferage of sci-
ence," he said.
He said viticulture had been allowed to
continually encroach on broadacre farming.
"Farmers are sick of fighting bureaucrats,
so what people should be asking about the
WHS proposal is not what the benefits will
be -- but what are the disadvantages," Mr
"Unless all sectors are equally represented
on the panel or committee examining its fea-
sibility, I doubt people can be properly
informed. It's no good imposing zoning
changes and boundaries while disadvantag-
ing one sector over another.
"If it's a good thing, everyone has to agree."
SAFF chief executive officer Carol Vincent
says the proponents of a WHS must consult
with her organisation and its members.
"It cannot impede farm businesses that
already exist, and their property rights, and
just add another layer of red tape and
bureaucracy," she said.
"I'm surprised we haven't heard from them
yet -- I find that concerning."
Ms Vincent said a significant number of
SAFF members farmed in the region being
considered in the bid for WHS listing.
"Many are fourth generation, and looking
for a fifth generation to continue on the
farm," she said.
IF WHS listing had the ability to protect the longevity of family farms -- allowing them to
operate without the threat of urban sprawl eating at their viability -- it could be positive.
"But if it's about restricting ability and choice, determining what herbicide you can use
or preventing you from building sheds and the like, it would have a very negative
impact," broadacre farmer and president of the Ag Bureau's Freeling branch Peter Wendt
"The unknown is what scares people -- there would need to be effective consultation
with our members, detailing the positives and negatives.
"I can't say I'm against it, but we all need to know more about it."
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