Monday 12 March 2012

LNP | Statutory Regional Plans

Delivering land use certainty through Statutory Regional Plans

    The LNP is committed to delivering certainty to Queenslanders through Statutory Regional Plans that clearly identify appropriate land uses.

    A robust and consultative statutory regional planning framework allows policy to be tailored to regional variations and, just as importantly, allows regional communities to make a contribution to the framework during the consultation phase so that each plan best matches community aspirations.
    The LNP will develop Statutory Regional Plans that clearly identify appropriate land uses across each region. These Statutory Regional Plans will map out the economic and social infrastructure needs of each region to foster economic and community opportunities into the future.

    A thorough consultative planning process will identify existing and emerging issues as well as wider policy requirements including by:
    • Mapping and protecting local strategic cropping land and other priority land uses
    • Identifying infrastructure needs for developing industry and communities
    • Planning for social infrastructure such as schools, police and health services
    • Identifying workforce and skills demands for the future
    • Planning housing development needs to accommodate future workforces
    • Ensuring local input to the management of land use conflicts
    • Coordinating state and federal policy with local government planning.
    Different regions have different economic and social strengths and issues. Some might be based predominantly on tourism and seeking to diversify. Others might have increased resources developments and others might be historically agricultural regions but seeking to manage the impacts of new development opportunities. Statutory Regional Plans are an existing planning tool that can be utilised, for example to protect SCL.

    Only through a robust and comprehensive statutory regional planning framework can local aspirations be matched with the demands of the four economic pillars of agriculture, resources, tourism and construction – and the flow on opportunities in the services sector.

    Just as statutory regional planning provides an avenue for communities to ensure their aspirations are taken into account, so too does the process provide improved certainty for industry stakeholders and investors by reducing the likelihood of ad hoc legislative responses to emerging issues that could have been avoided by better planning.

    The CanDo LNP Statutory Regional Planning Framework

    Stakeholders will have a much clearer understanding of the planning demands and restrictions for regions they propose to operate and invest in. From those regional plans the Government can ensure that state-wide strategies are consistent with regional needs and that the public service has a clear and mapped out understanding of the needs of each region as they develop policy and service delivery responses.

    The LNP will:

    Deliver certainty to landholders, local communities and industry through the implementation of Statutory Regional Plans with specific land use mapping in individual regions. Statutory Regional Plans, and the land use maps attached to them, will take precedence over other planning instruments, such as local government planning schemes, unless otherwise provided for.

    The SEQ Regional Plan and the FNQ Regional Plan are two existing Regional Plans that already include strict statutory land use zones and the LNP believes other regions deserve equivalent protections. These Statutory Regional Plans will involve the development of land use zones that define, regulate and control what land in certain zones can be used for and what it may or may not be used for in the future. Once zoned for particular land uses, the Regional Plans will deliver certainty to landholders and other stakeholders.

    Under an LNP Government, Regional Plans will clearly identify appropriate land uses in individual zones across the region, give proper statutory planning protection to strategic cropping land and establish suitable statutory separation distances between resource industry projects and other land uses that are incompatible, such as residential areas.

    The effect of Statutory Regional Plans in establishing specific land use zones is that planning authorities or regulatory agencies, such as local councils or government departments, are not able to accept an application for a proposed development activity that is not compatible with the dedicated land use in that zone.

    Because of the particular issues in relation to the Coal Seam Gas industry and increased concerns about the conflict between resources development and the need to preserve strategic cropping land, the LNP will fast-track Statutory Regional Plans for the Darling Downs and the Golden Triangle regions with other regional plans to follow.

    Unlike the current tired, 20 year old Labor Government, the LNP will plan for the future, not simply live for the moment. As a result communities can help shape their futures while providing certainty for investors and industry stakeholders.
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