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Wollondilly banking on tourism growth to boost local jobs

Down south in Wollondilly Shire they are banking on the visitor economy – including agritourism – to bounce back from a number of recent disasters.

These include drought, bushfires, floods and of course the devastating effects of the pandemic during the past two years.

As part of that strategy, Wollondilly Council plans to make change to local planning laws to make it easier to establish tourism related developments in the shire.

Council is proposing a number of shire-wide amendments to the Local Environmental Plan (LEP) 2011 to attract investment, increase local jobs and further develop the visitor experience.

The amendments also seek to guarantee the long-term viability of agricultural activities by allowing landowners to diversify their income streams, and to ensure clarity in the planning system.

“Wollondilly has amazing natural and rural land which provides a great opportunity for tourism; with the potential for walking trails and tours, biking experiences, wellness activities, and function and conference centres,’’ says council CEO Ben Taylor.

“Quality agriculture and horticulture in the area also opens up opportunities for agritourism, expanded farm-based tourism and generating income streams.

“We want to recognise the visitor economy as a core objective for development and strengthen the role and function of employment land,” he said.

The proposal also seeks to implement a recommendation from council’s employment land strategy to provide further clarity and distinction between land use zones.

The planning proposal includes more than 35 amendments to allow a range of visitor economy related uses while protecting the potential impacts on rural land. The planning proposal is now on public exhibition.

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