State planning processes are not helping Gympie progress sustainably, says planning chairman Ian Petersen.
State planning processes are not helping Gympie progress sustainably, says planning chairman Ian Petersen.

Red tape ‘stifles' city

MAJOR employment generating business developments have been jeopardised by State Government red tape under the Wide Bay-Burnett Regional Plan, it was claimed yesterday.

Gympie Regional Council Planning and Development Committee chairman Ian Petersen said it was generally agreed that Gympie needed affordable housing and job creation to make its growth viable and healthy.

A long-standing critic of State Government-dominated regional planning processes, Cr Petersen has also had some degree of falling out with Mayor Ron Dyne, who committed council to involvement in the regional planning process, claiming it was better for council to be a part of the process than to have it ultimately imposed on us anyway.

Cr Petersen's view was that there was no need to accelerate the process and that council would have been better off if it could have been delayed until after finalisation of the upcoming new council plan for its region.

He says there have been problems with the South East Queensland Regional Plan imposing state agendas on councils. Similar problems have been claimed in Far North Queensland, the only other part of the state, besides our Wide Bay-Burnett region, to be involved in the new state planning process.

He says the state's concern to prevent rural land being subdivided needs to be tempered by local knowledge.

As currently applied, it means growth will happen in rural residential areas, like Curra, where people have gone for lifestyle and where service accessibility is limited but will be denied to inner Gympie areas that are zoned rural but would be more suitable for subdivision because they are not good agricultural land, are surrounded by urban development and are close to services, he said yesterday.

“The government is quite rightly seeking to increase supply of affordable housing but the statutory plan will limit land supply where it should be developed and will make housing less affordable.

“It also conflicts with our job creation aims. We've had job generating proposals stopped or at least put on hold.

“They might have to wait six months but if you've got a big project, you can't afford to wait six months,” he said.

Gympie Times


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