New England TAFE show interest in Bingara Farm Gardens project

July 22, 2008

A contribution of $7000 by New England TAFE to the feasibility study into the Bingara Farm Gardens project is looking "extremely likely", reported General Manager, Max Eastcott at a recent Vision 2020 meeting. Mr Eastcott said he had indications from other Government departments that additional funding of up to $25,000 may be available to assist with the study.

Mr Eastcott commented that the perception of Vision 2020 from outside the Bingara community is at the other end of the spectrum from the view held by those within the community, as evidenced by the sums of money various government departments are prepared to allocate to its projects.

A meeting has also been organised with the Lands Department to clarify issues relating to the status of the land under consideration for the project, Mr Eastcott said.

The comment was made that "it was sad that people take negative stands early (on new proposals) as they stifle new ideas." Some of the proposed developments will have a major positive effect on the stormwater which at present inundates the town, Mr Eastcott told the meeting.

It was suggested at the Vision 2020 meeting that the proposed areas for development should be pegged out, so people can wander through them and assess the merit as well as the scope of the project.

The meeting agreed that the whole project needs a comprehensive explanation, as very few people are clear on the concept.

It may be that even Vision 2020 and the Gwydir Shire Council differ on the plans for the Common. In the Gwydir Shire Council business paper for the last meeting, held on June 26, the General Manager reported that "From the Council’s point of view, which may differ slightly from Vision 2020’s concept, the project is to develop a Primary Industries Training and Interpretative Centre that provides residential courses in traditional and alternate farming practices. The graduates from these courses will also be trained in the use of heavy plant and equipment at the proposed centre for training at a site just north of Warialda, which the Council is developing along with New England TAFE. The feasibility study will, of course, determine if the overall concept is financially viable and quite rightly this is the main concern of some residents and also some Councillors."

Vision 2020’s Annual General meeting is scheduled for August 15.