City and Country United on Value of Agricultural Land

Article excerpt

NSW city and country dwellers think too much emphasis is being placed on mining and coal seam gas by the government, research released recently by NSW Farmers' Association has found.

A Newspoll survey found 58 percent of respondents thought the NSW Government was putting too much emphasis on satisfying the interests of extractive industries compared with about one percent who said too much emphasis was placed on farmers.

The survey also revealed that 88 percent were either strongly in favour or somewhat in favour of parts of NSW's agricultural land being reserved from mining and coal seam gas.

Approximately 50 percent thought that more than half of the state's food-producing land should be reserved for agriculture while one in four believed more than 90 percent should be set aside solely for agriculture.

Under proposed new land use policies, the NSW Government has not earmarked any farm land to be excluded from mining or coal seam gas activities.

NSW Farmers' president Fiona Simson said she was surprised by the depth of feeling across the state.

aPeople talk about the country and city divide but it's not there on this issue and I think that is very encouraging,a she said. …

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