Wingecarribee Shire Council is seeking comment from interested parties after councillors endorsed the public exhibition of a draft Rural Tourism Policy at the last Ordinary Council Meeting of November.
The draft policy clarifies what tourism activities are currently permissible in the Shire’s rural areas as well as proposing a mechanism for determining where and when E3 Environmental Management zoned land will be considered for rezoning to SP3 Tourist.
Council’s Group Manager of Planning, Development and Regulatory Services, Nick Wilton, explained the purpose of the draft policy.
“The tourism market is one of the largest industries in the Southern Highlands,” he said. “Tourism-related activities provide almost 2,300 full-time jobs across the Shire and many more part-time roles.”
“At the same time we’re aware of the economic challenges that often face rural communities such as ours.
“The purpose of this draft policy is to provide a strategic framework within which tourism, agriculture and our Shire’s unique environmental sensitivities can all mutually coexist.”
One of the key recommendations of the draft policy is to permit ‘Artisan food and drink industry’ with consent in Primary Production, Rural Landscape and Tourist designated land use areas across the Shire.
“Basically, we’re investigating ways in which we can provide more opportunities for appropriate agri-businesses in rural areas,” Mr Wilton added. “At the same time we want to ensure we maintain the right balance with our residents, environment and unique heritage areas.”
To view a copy of the draft policy visit www.yoursaywingecarribee.com.au/rural-tourism or view in person at Council’s Civic Centre located at 68 Elizabeth Street in Moss Vale.
Submissions can be made online or in writing addressed to Wingecarribee Shire Council, PO Box 141 Moss Vale 2577 or alternatively by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The exhibition period will remain open for three months. During this time Council will organise information sessions with tourism stakeholders and other interested parties.
Submissions and feedback close at 4.30pm on Friday 1 March 2019.
Following the close of the exhibition period, a final report considering submissions will be presented to Council.
For further information contact Council’s Strategic Planning Unit on phone 4868 0888.