Environment Southland’s Long Term Community Plan proposes imposing a dairy differnetial of $1.08 million to finance more compliance staff, monitoring programmes, stock effluent disposal sites, land sustainability programmes and a new regional discharge plan.
Is this user pays or an attempt to get dairy farmers to finance more than their fair share of the council’s expansion?
Federated Farmers’ submission says many of its dairy members felt the rate was the regional council’s way of expanding its programmes while insulating the general ratepayer against the effects of an increased rate take.
DairyNZ recommends a partnership between the council and the dairy industry to resolve resource management issues.
That would provide the council with resources from DairyNZ’s own science, local farmer knowledge and dairy industry policy staff, its submission says.
Dairy farmers must pay their fair share of the costs associated with the environmental impact of their business but this looks like the council is playing a growing game and wants farmers to pay for it.
DairyNZ’s proposal would get the results without the need for the regional council to expand its empire at farmers’ expense.