More farmers across NSW will soon be swinging their gates open to visitors, thanks to a new policy that makes it easier to set up agritourism opportunities.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole today released the Government’s final agritourism policy aimed at helping diversified farm businesses thrive.
“We’re making it cheaper and easier for our farmers to diversify their income by starting, running and growing agritourism experiences, such as farm stays, cafes, cellar doors, retreats, roadside stalls, fruit picking and small wedding venues,” Mr Toole said.
“Farmers who want to innovate and share a taste of their region with visitors shouldn’t be held back by red tape. That’s why we’ve introduced clear definitions and new planning pathways to allow activities that meet the policy to happen with either faster or no planning approval.”
Minister for Planning and Minister for Homes Anthony Roberts said the finalised policy will support the growing agritourism industry and encourage the next generation to farm the land.
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“Agritourism is a growing sector for both the Australian and NSW economies and is expected to be worth $18.6 billion nationally by 2030. It’s important we provide a clear and simple pathway through the planning system,” Mr Roberts said.
“Our farmers have shown resilience time and time again over the last few years, battling through floods, fires, drought and the COVID-19 pandemic, and we want to support them however we can.”
Minister for Agriculture Dugald Saunders said the policy encourages locals to boost their revenue and future-proof their farms.
“The last few years have been really tough on farmers as they recover from the drought, bushfires, floods and the pandemic. Reforms like these will help landholders build resilience by providing another source of income,” Mr Saunders said.
“Whether they’re building a small shopfront, hosting events, taking in campers or starting roadside stalls, farmers can choose from a range of opportunities made simpler by this policy change.”
Minister for Tourism Ben Franklin said there are now endless avenues for primary producers to drive productivity and cash flow on their doorstep.
“It’s all about using the land in new and innovative ways, complementing existing businesses and giving people more reasons to visit regional areas,” Mr Franklin said.
“The pandemic has seen NSW residents spend more time exploring our amazing state, and these activities will attract tourists and put rural communities on the map as drawcard destinations.”
The new policy will commence on 1 December.