Abrasive debate on grazing land at Tuross

Tuross Head residents fear heritage grazing lands will be lost if they are rezoned under the new Rural Lands Strategy – but the Eurobodalla Shire Council says they will enjoy greater protection.

Deputy Mayor Anthony Mayne raised a question on notice at the July 31 council meeting, to clarify whether the use of the land would change.

“I would seek absolute clarification that there is no plan now or in the future to subdivide these lands,” Cr Mayne said.

Planning director Lindsay Usher said there were no plans to develop the land, but that he could not speak for future councils. Cr Rob Pollock said any future council pushing to develop the land would be “particularly stupid”.

“(It would be) the same process we went through 10 years ago, and got whacked by the community for,” Cr Pollock said. “The zoning described under the new LEP provides greater safeguards, and I don’t think there should be any misunderstanding about motives.”

However, Tuross Head Progress Association remained dissatisfied, and held a public meeting at Kyla Park Hall on Thursday, August 2. Gilmore MP Ann Sudmalis attended. Cr Mayne said the community sought assurances the land would be protected.

“The council could not give that guarantee, and that’s what concerns the community,” he said. “As land on the South Coast becomes more and more expensive and the return on investment grows, would that influence behaviour? Of course. But why put a price on open space and clean air?” Cr Mayne said the association sought an urgent meeting with the mayor.