Planning Committee Chairman Ian Petersen.
Planning Committee Chairman Ian Petersen. Craig Warhurst

New rules to give State more power

DEVELOPERS of a significant proposal to develop rural residential allotments at Mothar Mountain will be advised to withdraw their Gympie Regional Council application and save themselves $46,200 in fees.

Councillors at their Planning and Development Committee meeting agreed the project is most unlikely to receive State Government approval, under new government powers linked to council’s involvement in the Wide Bay-Burnett Statutory Regional Plan.

The regional plan, though not finished, contains draft provisions which apply until it is finalised.

A formal assessment report presented to the meeting said the land was currently zoned rural in council’s Planning Scheme and includes land which the government would have to approve.

The land is “included in the Regional Landscape and Rural Production area of the Draft Wide Bay Burnett Regulatory Provisions,” the report said.

Planning Committee Chairman Ian Petersen, a vocal critic of the new government process and council’s involvement in it, said there had been “quite a few applications in South-East Queensland and Far North Queensland under conditions where people have sought to get exemptions by proving a community need.

“None of those cases have succeeded,” he said. “We should encourage them to get an exemption first.”

Planning Director Michael Hartley told the meeting a letter to the would-be developers stated the fee and urged them to lodge an application first with the state Department of Infrastructure and Planning, “as they have power of veto”.

In his written report, Mr Hartley said council could not accept the application “until such time as a material change of use has been approved” by DIP and the Department of Environment.

He said council policy was to levy a fee of $1100 a hectare for applications proposing to use rights consistent with another zone.

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