Sunday, 02 December 2012 13:05
A "friend of the farmer" has been named the first land and water commissioner for NSW.
National Farmers' Federation president Jock Laurie has been appointed to the position to help implement the NSW government's strategic regional land use policy and advise on mining and coal seam gas exploration.
Mr Laurie and his family run sheep and cattle at a property near Walcha.
NSW Deputy Premier and Nationals leader Andrew Stoner said Mr Laurie's advocacy work for farmers was "legendary".
"In Jock Laurie, landholders have a Land and Water commissioner who truly is the friend of the farmer," Mr Stoner said in a statement on Saturday.
"A fourth generation grazier, Jock understands all too well the challenges faced by farmers as a result of mining and coal seam gas activity, particularly in the exploration stage.
"He also understands that balancing competing land use is an important part of driving job growth in regional NSW."
Mr Laurie's brief includes offering guidance on applications for mineral and petroleum exploration licences, exploration activities, regulatory approval and compliance matters.
"Jock will also provide important advice to the NSW government on applications for exploration or production activities," Mr Stoner said.
Mr Laurie will stay in the job for up to three years, starting on 10 December.
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