THE NATIONALS LAUNCH PETITION TO PROTEST CROWN LAND RENT INCREASES

THE NATIONALS LAUNCH PETITION TO PROTEST CROWN LAND RENT INCREASES

THE NATIONALS LAUNCH PETITION TO PROTEST CROWN LAND RENT INCREASES

23 February 2005

The Nationals have launched a State-wide petition protesting the Carr Labor Government's increases in Crown Land Leases, particularly Enclosed Road Permits advised Member for Lismore Thomas George. (Petition attached).

"The Nationals' petition calls on the Carr Labor Government to withdraw its proposed rent increases for Crown Land Leases and implement a new and fair system that is acceptable to all parties," Mr George said.

"Road enclosures are often very small unproductive pockets of land that were set aside as potential roads many years ago.

"Labor has recently doubled or tripled rental payments on these pieces of land from what farmers had been paying ($50) and in three years time the annual rental will cost between $350 and $750-plus depending on the size of the road enclosure permit.

"And if farmers choose to convert these road enclosure leases to freehold they still face exorbitant Government administrative costs - approximately $1700 - and then have to pay the market value of the land.

"Or if farmers want to hand the land back to the Crown, the landholder must fence the area at their own cost.

"Labor's changes are imposing a massive cost burden on the State's farmers."

Mr George said The Nationals' petition would allow members of the public to register their opposition and have their concerns raised in the NSW Parliament.

"It also increases the pressure on Labor to immediately begin genuine consultation with affected landholders and implement a fairer system," he said.

"The Minister was forced to implement a review last year after a major uproar over the rent hikes but despite some changes, the rent increases will still take the cost from $50 to $350 minimum in three years time," Mr George said.

"Once signatures have been collected, National MPs will present the petitions on behalf of rural communities to the NSW Parliament."

Lismore Contact Details:

Office: 55 Carrington Street  LISMORE
Postal: PO Box 52  LISMORE  NSW  2480
Telephone: 02 6621 3624
Facsimile: 02 6622 1403
Email: lismore@parliament.nsw.gov.au

Murwillumbah Contact Details:

Telephone: 02 6672 7577