FRANKIE DeGROOT | Local News | Contact
Residents of Betoota’s historic Betoota Park housing estate are up in arms today after news that the entire region has been rezoned as ‘RU1 – Primary Production’.
Under the rezoning, council rates will be strategically increased to force the residents of 347 properties out, leaving the area empty and ready to be cleared for a proposed dairy farm.
“My family has been here for almost two generations” said Lexcen Crescent resident Vicki Sard.
“We bought our home brand new in 1989 and raised our kids here. We never thought we’d be forced out by greedy dairy farmers. They don’t care about our homes, they just want to make milk.”
But councillor Tim Vellop says sacrifices need to be made to keep up with the pace of progress.
“Obviously it’s a very emotional time for everyone, but at the end of the day we need to accept that progress brings change” he said, when spotted by our reporter having lunch with a man trying to hide his face with an Akubra.
“Australia’s population is growing and the people need to drink milk, and that milk needs to come from somewhere. Of course we will offer support to anyone affected by the new development, including paying them a pre-rezoning value for their property and helping them to find a similar property in a more secluded location.”
However Betoota Historical Society secretary Jim Winton has labelled the move “sacrilegious.”
“This area has been a residential area for decades” said Jim, waving at a historic poster titled “Betoota Park has got it all, mate!”, featuring Paul Hogan giving a thumbs up.
“Some of these 350sqm blocks feature brick veneer houses date back to 1986. Some of them had rotary dial telephones and TVs without remote controls. The mid-1980s were simpler times, and this way of life is fast disappearing.”
“It’s time we put the brakes on this rampant overdevelopment to protect this way of life for future generations before it disappears entirely, crushed by agricultural sprawl”.