Thoroughbred Breeders of the Hunter Valley have released a 10 Point Plan of Action to end the land use conflict and restore balance to the Hunter Valley.
They have called for a moratorium on all new exploration and mining decisions in the Hunter Valley pending an independent, comprehensive environmental and socio-economic assessment of the cumulative impact of mining on both the area and the thoroughbred industry.
Speaking at a media conference at Randwick Racecourse on Tuesday morning, Arrowfield Group chairman John Messara said it was time the thoroughbred was recognised as an Industry of State Significance.
‘’We are not against mining,’’ Messara said. “But we can’t stand by and watch a 150-year-old industry that contributes so much to NSW and Australia be decimated.
“We want to see an end to the sterilisation of productive agricultural land in the Hunter Valley. The release of our 10 Point Plan of Action enables us to clearly put our aims.
“Our campaign is based on restoring balance, certainty and sustainability to the Hunter Valley. A sustainable future for the Hunter Valley needs to balance the interests of all stakeholders and value the contribution thoroughbred breeding makes to our society.’’
The Plan calls for a ban on all future mining in the Hunter Valley where such activities threaten thoroughbred breeding operations.
It also calls for the appointment of a dedicated Agriculture Minister, the establishment of an Independent Sustainable Agriculture Agency, an Independent Planning Commission and laws that respect and recognise landholder property rights.
The Hunter Valley is recognised as one of three Centres of Thoroughbred Breeding Excellence in the world, alongside Kentucky in the USA and Newmarket in the UK.
The 10 Point Plan is available at www.protectourindustries.com.au.