Council seeks community input on timber plantations

Published on 01 May 2024

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An increase in timber plantations has prompted Corangamite Shire Council to weigh up the effect on valuable agricultural land.

At its April meeting, Council released a discussion paper to spark community conversation about current and future land use change.

Mayor Kate Makin said Council wanted to hear residents’ views on the issues and opportunities raised in the discussion paper to help plan for a secure future for our agricultural industry.

“In recent years there has been an accelerating change in land use from food production to timber plantations,” Cr Makin said.

“These are on highly productive land previously used for food and fibre production.

“Agriculture contributes 100 times more than forestry to the Shire Economy including 45% of the economic output, 38% of the jobs and 70% of the exports.

“Our towns and communities rely heavily on farming with most of the 2,400 plus jobs and $60 million in wages annually coming from dairy, meat production, sheep and cropping and agricultural services.

“It is important that we plan for what effects land use change may have on the Shire economy and the future of our communities.”

Cr Makin said potential concerns included:

  • national food security;
  • job losses across farming, support and service industries, manufacturing and processing;
  • threats to the viability of small communities as agricultural workers and their families leave the region;
  • loss of biodiversity, pest and weed incursion;
  • increased fire threat;
  • Excision of farm dwellings creating isolated rural residences.

Cr Makin encouraged residents to download the discussion paper from or email