New ag appointments, farmers asked to share their views

The final two positions on the East Gippsland Agriculture Sector Advisory Committee have recently been filled and East Gippsland Shire Council congratulates Ian Cane and Simon Turner on their appointments.

In February, Council appointed nine industry-based members to the committee and initiated a process to identify suitable candidates to fill the remaining two vacancies, with one member having experience in forest products and one member to come from the High Country.

Mr Cane is an apiarist with over 50 years’ experience, accessing forests for the location of hives. He has also been in active in forest management planning for state forests and planning for the multiple uses and values of public land. Mr Cane’s family have been in apiary for 100 years.

Mr Turner has been operating a family grazing business (wool, mutton, lamb and beef) in Bindi, with secondary properties near Ensay and Bairnsdale. He has had experience in representing the community in the past with membership to several committees at state level. Mr Turner is a fourth generation East Gippsland farmer.

The Committee has met twice since forming, and will endeavour to support Council by:

  • Providing advice to Council on agriculture sector issues and priorities
  • Providing an effective communication channel between Council and members of the agriculture sector
  • Making enquiries and canvas public views relating to issues of importance to the agriculture sector
  • Advocating for decisions of Council in respect of matters that fall within the Advisory Committee’s Charter.

At their first meeting the Committee discussed the issue of camping on river frontages and the concerns for farmers as a result. Council in conjunction with One Gippsland sent a letter expressing the concerns to Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.

The committee has also supported the development of Council’s farmers’ survey.

Council is asking farm owners, managers and share farmers to complete the survey to assist it to better understand the agriculture sector. This information will be used to inform Council on major issues and to support advocacy initiatives for private and Government investment in agriculture infrastructure and services.

All farmers can complete the survey online at the Your Say page of Council’s website. Hard copies of the survey will also be mailed to all farms over 40 hectares in size after June 30.

Council hopes to hear from the agriculture sector including cattle, sheep and wool, milk, horticulture as well as wineries and timber.

This survey will be delivered in conjunction with Wellington Shire Council (WSC) and has been developed by East Gippsland and Wellington shire councils, Victorian Farmers Federation, Agriculture Victoria and Gippsland Agriculture Group.

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