Celebrating a win for common-sense and the local community, Uralla Shire Business Chamber members John Buckingham, left, Russ French, President Teresa French and Secretary Bob Crouch with Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall, brandishing the changes signed by Planning Minister Rob Stokes to the statewide Local Environmental Plan instrument.
Monday, 9 November 2020
SMALL and home-based businesses in the Uralla Shire have scored a major victory after the State Government amended the Uralla Shire Local Environmental Plan (LEP) to provide certainty about where and what they can lawfully trade, Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall announced today.
Joined by the Uralla Shire Business Chamber this morning, Mr Marshall said he was delighted Planning Minister Rob Stokes had acted quickly in response to concerns expressed by the community and clarified the definition of “home business” and “home industry” in the Uralla Shire LEP, to remove any confusion and ensure online retail sales can lawfully occur from homes.
Mr Marshall said businesses in Uralla Shire, including those listed on Buy Regional, which last year banded together at the height of the drought to pack hundreds of Christmas hampers for Sydney businesses, could now confidently trade in the lead up to Christmas.
“Sydneysiders answered the call by supporting rural and regional businesses during the drought and online sales have boomed during COVID-19, so it’s important for Uralla that businesses not be excluded from selling goods to their online customers,” Mr Marshall said.
“After such an unpredictable and tumultuous year it’s vital we provide certainty to communities who are doing it tough and I’m thrilled we could make this happen just in time for Christmas.”
Mr Marshall said the definition changes now made it clear that online retail sales could be transacted from home, through an amendment to the Standard Instrument Local Environment Plan, regardless of where the goods traded were produced.
“The changes have come into effect and require Uralla Shire Council to drop its ‘unique and controversial’ interpretation of the LEP and fall into line with the rest of the State,” Mr Marshall said.
“This will provide certainty but also relief to many local home business and the community, which recently turned out in droves to express its concern and opposition to the stance council planning staff had taken.
“The changes are part of a push to modernise, simplify and clarify the planning system and provide certainty for the community and business.”
Tara Toomey, from Uralla business The Humble Cook and the Seasons of New England business group, was thrilled the State Government had intervened and provided the certainty and support needed for her to operate from home and meet the Christmas rush.
Mrs Toomey’s business, which is listed on Buy Regional, makes a range of treats using ingredients sourced direct from regional farmers and businesses across the New England region and beyond.
“Having the capacity to trade online is the most critical tool to sustain communities as we look to economically recover from COVID-19,” Mrs Toomey said.
“It is essential for small businesses to be supported as we compete in a global online space, and I thank the government for intervening to allow this to happen and for making it a smoother process for all involved.”
Visit the Buy Regional website at www.nsw.gov.au/regional-nsw/buy-regional