The Hon Matthew Guy MLC
Minister for Planning
Minister for Multicultural Affairs & Citizenship
DATE: 27 October, 2014
Building reform cuts costs and red tape for farmers
· Reforms for farm buildings save farmers massive costs and red tape
· Delivers expected savings of between $50,000 and $100,000 per eligible farm building
· Ensures Victoria’s agricultural industry remains competitive
Victoria’s agricultural industry received a boost today with Planning Minister Mathew Guy announcing reforms to farm buildings reducing massive costs for farmers.
Mr Guy said the reforms apply to farm buildings including chicken meat farms, dairies and greenhouses and will significantly reduce the regulatory and financial burden on farmers.
“For the chicken meat industry alone, the costs of obtaining building permission can make developments unviable and recent farm proposals have seen farmers spend up to $150,000 to meet fire safety requirements.
“With these reforms I expect farmers could save between $50,000 and $100,000 per farm building.
“Australians now eat more chicken meat than their combined consumption of beef and lamb. Annual growth of this $5.6 billion chicken meat sector is trending at 5 per cent and these measures will help ensure Victorian farmers remain competitive in this booming sector of the agricultural industry.
“These common sense measures will ensure we continue to foster the growth and development of Victoria’s agricultural sector,” Mr Guy said.
The reforms apply to eligible farms that have an occupancy of no more than one person per 200m2 of total floor area, up to a maximum number of six people.
The new regulations will see a number of common sense concessions made on firefighting and emergency lighting provisions for low occupancy farm buildings after consultation with the Country Fire Authority and the agriculture industry.
The provision of emergency lighting will not be mandated where farming operations are carried out under natural light, as may be the case with a greenhouse, or where a low occupancy building has a fuel driven back up generator. Farmers that can demonstrate they have portable fire extinguishers and an adequate supply of water for fire fighters to use on site will not be required to provide fire hydrants and hose reels.
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