Compliance: an opportunity to have your say

By LizH, 31 May, 2024

If you attended the recent meeting at the Community Hall when representatives from MidCoast Council presented their Draft LEP, you may, as did many, feel somewhat underwhelmed and possibly dismayed and alarmed by Council’s incapacity to enforce corrective action on the increasing array of illegal activities occurring in the non-urban land. 

It was made abundantly clear that existing resources are woefully stretched over the large area that comprises the MidCoast Council – all 10,000 sq km of it – and unsurprisingly, budgetary constraints are apparently primarily to blame.

More and more landowners in the non-urban area are flouting the development rules by building unlawful developments such as barbed wire-topped mesh fences, large sheds, shipping containers and water tanks, with the area’s biodiversity and environmental values gradually being destroyed. 

Unfortunately, Council is doing little to enforce the rules and if this sort of illegal activity continues to occur, the non-urban area will become a large shanty town.

Have your Say……

Council’s Draft Delivery program (2022 – 2026) and Operational Plan (2024-2025) is currently on public exhibition. In Council’s words, it ‘guides how and where funds will be spent, and what projects the community can expect to be delivered during the financial year.’

You can access this Draft document on MCC’s website at 

highlight Get Involved on the horizontal menu bar

then click on Have Your Say in the drop down menu

scroll down to OPEN PROJECTS and locate the Draft Delivery program (2022 – 2026) and Operational Plan (2024-2025)

Here's the link if you wish to head straight to the Plan:

(The Draft LEP is also available there for viewing as well as the Mid Coast Community Strategic Plan. Each of these have an option for public submissions by 14 July and 30 June respectively.)

Regulatory Services a.k.a. Compliance, is covered on pp 78 of the Draft Delivery document with Council’s regulatory commitments listed under the subheading Ongoing Services & Programs. Council’s Regulatory Services Budget is detailed on p79. 

Given that Council receives the annual gift of around $1 million in non-urban land rates, there’s a reasonable argument to suggest that the proposed 2024-25 Expenses budget of $1.86M to cover regulatory matters for the entire MidCoast Council needs a significant boost in light of the problems being experienced in North Arm Cove.   

Not only does Council require greater financial resources in terms of staffing, it also needs the financial wherewithal to incur additional expenses as necessary such as legal advice and other enforcement costs.

Noteworthy too are the Performance Measures on pp 79 of which there are currently 3 – and none of these relate to compliance! These need some ‘on point’ revision regardless and particularly so if further resource is to be added to the Regulatory Services budget. 

So, Have your Say on the Draft Delivery Program and Operational Plan by 4:30pm Friday 7 June

by scrolling to the bottom of the Draft Delivery web page to where the Council invites you to make an online submission

Many voices do make a difference and upgrading the resources at the enforcement source is a vitally important aspect of the ongoing endeavour to protect the non-urban land.

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