What are your thoughts on how we can ensure adequate space for agricultural production in the hinterland?

about 6 years ago
CLOSED: This map consultation has concluded

 Is farming still viable, should we be planning for more farmland? Should we be trying to grow, buy and find local markets for local food?

  • PinbarrenDe over 8 years ago
    definitely important that we should be able to grow and process more local foods. Therefore, zoning/protection of adequate good quality agricultural land from property development / CSG or other mining must be promoted by Council.The 'local' food and 'slow' food movements gaining momentum around Australia, and overseas can be turned into a big positive for the Sunshine Coast and hinterland areas, and will deliver economic and health benefits to the region.
  • Rainey over 8 years ago
    Maybe Council and small-farmers could set up a business advisory centre to assist and encourage farmers to provide produce needed by locals and restaurants. There is a lot of farming land sitting unused on 'rural residences'. It would be good to have fresh, local produce with low food miles available. What about a farming cooperative assisted by Council?
  • IanBates over 8 years ago
    Much of the hinterland farmland is now owned by retirees or semi-retirees who have chosen the area for its lifestyle and rural aesthetics. It would be beneficial in many cases for some of this land to be share-farmed by semi-urban people looking to widen their horizons in food production. Local marketing is the key. Farms in the hinterland cannot compete with the broad-acre farms in a national market place. We have to produce and sell locally - keep the food miles to a minimum. Timber production, already a growth industry, has promise for the future while helping to store carbon. It should be encouraged.
  • weisarts over 8 years ago
    Creative and energetic people are finding great ways to regenerate farming possibilities. Value adding is good leverage for some. Ganesha spices, Kin Kin Tea and others who grow their produce and process it for general and boutique markets are adding greatly to the value of their land's productivity. Some of these businesses are small in employees, yet their value in the network is large.It's also great to see skilled professionals living in the country, operating their businesses from home and caring for acreage along organic and environmentally sensitive lines. Great to see free-range pigs, poultry and grass fed beef becoming basically mainstream outside of the supermarkets.I agree that we should be supporting locally grown food and markets for the benefit of all concerned.
  • Lachlan Davis over 8 years ago
    Conventional farming is not viable and has not been for many years, that is why there used to be over 80 dairy farms in the Kin Kin area and now there are none, why there is almost no small cropping left when it used to employ hundreds. That is why within a matter of years Queensland will not be producing enough milk to feed ourselves. Some food producers may be able to make a living selling their products through markets but as long as the two big supermarkets maintain the duopoly and continue to squeeze farmers it is a losing battle.
  • grays over 8 years ago
    We own a horticultural based business in the Hinterland and we are very aware of the increasing number of people with a keen interest in buying locally grown produce and food production for their own household. This increased interest is not only reflected in our local sales but across SE Qld. and especially since the floods. I think planning and zoning to allow for and assist with food production, even on a small scale, will become even more important as more people move toward a sustainable lifestyle.
    Hide reply (1)
    • CoorooraChanger over 8 years ago
      Many across the hinterland are deeply concerned about their carbon footprint and food-miles travelled by what they buy in the supermarket. A marketing website would be helpful, listing the name and location of people/companies growing produce across the hinterland. I want to source my beer, wine, cheese, smallgoods, milk and vegies from local producers and suppliers and an informative internet site would help me plot a country drive to buy directly from the farm. I am sure tourists would appreciate the same experience. The Coast is not all about surf and sand - a country drive, with frequent places to stop, taste and buy should be on averyone's holiday agenda.
  • Shaun over 8 years ago
    Bring back sugar cane growing on the lowlands of the hinterland. The price of sugar is thorugh the roof again, and this action will do more for our rural economy than any other. It will also stop the lowlands from being developed for housing, but keep it as an iconic green space behind the develped coast line, and keep us from looking like the Goald Coast.Advocacy for anither sugar mill is the best thing SCC can do for rural futures on the Sunshine Coast.
  • rural futures over 8 years ago
    Presently there are restrictions on the size of rural blocks created from subdivision. I agree with the intention of these restrictions which is to avoid the creation of mass developments. However if the area is to develop high value low scale food production and an agri/tourism industry then attention needs to be paid to planning regulations that will allow for such businesses to be created. At the same time we must also ensure that the bio diversity of the area which is recognised as a bio diversity hot spot is improved.Agricultural production on small blocks can also be boosted using techniques employed by Joel Egerton who has a mix of forest and pasture.
  • alf_alphamale over 8 years ago
    Yes, farming is viable, even small-scale. Whatever this survey may produce, don't fall for the old "it's not good-quality soil", the would-be developer's favourite excuse. Even if soil has been run down, it can be revitalised. As the world touches on 7 million in population and not a prayer of a chance of a politician about to tackle global population, food security is not a luxury option. Add Peak Oil, over-use of chemicals and pesticides, GM meddling etc to the equation and having a local and abundant supply of food being grown is both an environmental and economic necessity. You can't eat bricks and mortar and there is plenty of residential capacity neasr the coastline for the next 50 years at least.The SEQRP limits rural subdivision, but it needs better backup with a Hinterland Plan written into the new planning scheme.The Seasons of the Sun partnership between food producers needs to develop a shared transport delivery system, with the assistance of council, to help ensure their survival.
  • Steve S over 8 years ago
    Maleny is a classic case of 60s and 70s thinking prevailing well into the 21st Century. Large 1/4 acre block lots with stand alone homes creating sprawling suburbs over what was once good farm land is basically slowly but surely destroying the charm of the township. Medium density housing on small private lots or courtyards with community gardens nearby is to way of the future. Maleny should be surrounded with food produce gardens, orchards and happy livestock. Instead it is surrounded with suburban bland housing built on overpriced and overly large lots. Declare that all remaining farmland must remain rural. If a landowner has more than 20 acres it should be a requirement that a rural production activity takes place on the land. If the owner does not want to do it, there are plenty of other people who no doubt could use the land productively for them. Agistment (mainly of beef cattle) is one way this happens now.
    Hide reply (1)
    • smoothie over 8 years ago
      I know Maleny well - and this very negative and draconian statement does not at all reflect the town, the many farms and its background of farming families. It's more a case of this sort of thought process by newcomers that could be the culprit if you are talking about destruction of its charm? Yes, there have been errors made in some of the earlier subdivisions - but others have been done very well and have allowed residents to grow their own food gardens - you don't need much land to achieve that. "Should" is a dangerous word - ultimately, who would be responsible for large tracts of "community gardens" - with a high rainfall, weeds very quickly take over without constant maintenance and SCC could be picking up the labour tab.
  • Minda over 8 years ago
    ALL remaining good quality agricultural land must be protected from subdivision under law. The problem of course, lies with owners of these larger tracts who rely on their sub-division potential for their superannuation and old age income.Perhaps group purchase of some of these existing farms coupled with planning lenience towards intentional communities and multi-dwelling housing clusters, may enable everyone to achieve the outcomes we all want.
  • kamala over 8 years ago
    Producers cooperatives can give small to medium scale farmers an opportunity to be successful without huge holdings. I've noticed that the Maleny high school produces some excellent quality produce that's sold at local shops, on a relatively small piece of land.Consumers Coops (like the Maple Street Coop) and farmer's markets can also give incentives to small farmers and local producers.Locally grown food is more secure, often more nutritious, and growing food is a positive lifestyle choice for many people. It would be beneficial to our community if more people could earn income by producing food, both as an income option and for the benefits of local production. This includes producing local food and also processing local food items locally (value adding.)
  • chief over 8 years ago
    Investigate ways to make agricultural production economically viable once again. How many dairy farms/cane plantations etc etc would still be in their respective businesses if they were economically viable.
  • dillenia over 8 years ago
    Yes to all of the above but planning needs to be long term. The review of the SEQ regional plan should not contemplate further expansion of the urban footprint. Once former farmland has been "developed", it has gone for good and there are plenty of examples. Australia generally does not have a lot of genuinely productive land. We cannot afford to lose food growing areas close to the population if we wish to continue having access to local, reasonably priced products. Imported foods often are produced under poor environmental conditions - pesticides and chemicals generally.