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Breeding, Wine & Tourism Industries Call For Govt Protection Of Hunter Valley

Wednesday, 25th March 2015

The Hunter Thoroughbred Breeders and Hunter Valley Wine and Tourism Associations have called on both the NSW Coalition and NSW ALP to unequivocally commit to protecting Australia's state and nationally significant thoroughbred breeding and viticulture critical industry clusters in the Hunter Valley. Launching their pre-election policy yesterday, the Hunter Thoroughbred Breeders and the Hunter Valley Wine and Tourism Associations called for a bipartisan commitment to protect these state significant lands and industries by prohibiting new open cut, underground and coal seam gas mining on and within 10 kms of the Hunter Valley equine and viticulture critical industry clusters. "Together our two industries inject more than $4.5 billion to the NSW economy, support nearly 100,000 jobs and attract over 3 million visitors every year to the Hunter region. These are internationally and nationally recognised industries of state significance and should be protected," Dr Cameron Collins, President of the Hunter Thoroughbred Breeders Association said. "The equine and viticulture critical industry clusters are the bedrock of the Hunter's agricultural and regional economy. Our industries have been mapped and recognised as nationally significant.  Yet they have not been protected from mining.  It is time both the NSW Coalition and ALP took a bipartisan approach to deliver on their 2011 election promises to protect them," Mr Stewart Ewen OAM, spokesman for the Hunter Valley Wine and Tourism Association said. The NSW Government has the legislative tools (through its State Environmental Planning Policies) to act NOW to safeguard our industries and hundreds of thousands sustainable long term jobs. We also call for a bipartisan approach to pass legislation within 100 days of the election to permanently protect our sustainable industries from new mining developments for the benefit of the NSW economy and future generations. "We call on the NSW Government to follow national and international best practice to protect NSW's state significant equine and viticulture industries before it is too late," Mr Ewen said. "Co-existence is a term used to avoid dealing with decades of bad planning. We need leadership and vision from our political leaders to protect our sustainable industries. Without appropriate buffers of at least 10km we cannot co-exist.  Land use conflicts will continue and sustainable world class agricultural industries will not survive," Dr Collins said. A 10 km buffer around the equine and viticulture critical industry clusters will help resolve these land use conflicts in the Hunter and allow all industries to grow and prosper. Click here to view the policy.

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