A PLANNING anomaly means stretches of the coastal reserve between Port Fairy and Warrnambool are zoned for farming.
The Victorian National Parks Association (VNPA) – a statewide non-government organisation founded in 1952 – has requested Moyne Shire rezone the land from farming zone to public conservation and resource zone.
The VNPA submission addresses land that includes areas around Killarney, the eastern end of Belfast Lough and even the Port Fairy Golf Course.
Warrnambool City Council’s section of the coastal reserve is marked as a public conservation and resource zone.
VNPA project manager Chris Smyth said the issue around commercial horse training at Killarney beach had brought the zoning anomaly to light.
"If Moyne Shire Council fails to rezone the reserve it could be used for cropping and livestock grazing,” Mr Smyth said.
"There is no good reason for retaining the farming zone over the Belfast Coastal Reserve. The Moyne Shire Council should promptly rezone it to a public conservation and resource zone."
“By rezoning the reserve, the council would show (it) recognises and respects the significance of the reserve's natural, cultural and social values. If farming was allowed across the reserve, its natural, cultural and social values would be lost."
However Moyne Shire planning manager Michelle Grainger said the majority, if not all, of the land in the VNPA request was crown land, which meant there were controls in place that forbid people using the land for purposes such as farming.
“There’s not a great risk because it’s crown land,” Ms Grainger said.
“It’s not an unreasonable request – (the zoning is) an anomaly. But it’s not urgent.”
She said the VNPA’s request would be presented to council at some point after the council, but it was likely the rezoning could be included in two upcoming projects Moyne Shire is working on.
The land in question around Killarney could be amended in the council’s rural housing strategy amendment, which will address “crown land across the shire”, Ms Grainger said.
The zoning of the Port Fairy Golf Course and adjacent land could be corrected in the Port Fairy coastal and structure planning project, which the shire is working on to prepare for the next 15 years of growth in Port Fairy.