Queensland Government launches final Regionalisation Strategy

THE Queensland Government has finalised the Queensland Regionalisation Strategy (QRS) 2011, a plan that aims to ensure that the benefits of growth are shared by all Queenslanders as the state prepares to reach a population of 7 million by 2031.

The QRS aims to support growth across the state with 35 statewide actions that will direct government effort and investments to where they will have the greatest impact and benefit. These include the Queensland Infrastructure Plan (QIP) and the Bruce Highway Upgrade Strategy (BHUS).

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Queensland Government releases greenspace strategy

THE Queensland Government last week released the Queensland Greenspace Strategy 2011-2020, which aims to help secure and provide better public access to greenspace and help achieve the government's target of a 50 per cent increase in land protected for conservation and outdoor recreation.

Local Government Minister Paul Lucas said the comprehensive plan to increase parks, recreational walking tracks, off road vehicle tracks, marine parks and other outdoor resources was a direct outcome of the Queensland Growth Management Summit held in March 2010.

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Australian-first housing estate in Grantham officially opened

ELEVEN months after flooding devastated the Lockyer Valley, a new housing estate at Grantham has been officially opened by Queensland Premier Anna Bligh and Lockyer Valley Mayor Steve Jones as part of a program to relocate flood-affected residents to land out of the flood zone.

Lockyer Valley Regional Council gave residents from the townships of Grantham, Murphys Creek, Postmans Ridge, Withcott and Helidon the option to move to higher ground in the new development as part of a voluntary land-swap initiative.

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Third UDA announced for Gladstone

THE Queensland Government last week announced that Gladstone will receive an affordable housing boost, with the declaration of a third Urban Development Area (UDA) for the city.

The UDA at Toolooa, a 180 hectare site located approximately 6 kilometres south of the Gladstone CBD, is expected to provide an additional 1,200 dwellings.

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Queensland Parliament passes laws to protect cropping land

QUEENSLAND Parliament this month passed the Strategic Cropping Land Act 2011, which aims to protect the state's best cropping land and is expected to come into force at the end of January 2012.

Natural Resources Minister Rachel Nolan said the milestone was an Australian first that demonstrates the Queensland Government's commitment to balancing the competing interests of farming, mining and other developments.

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Queensland introduces laws to protect urban areas from exploration

THE Queensland Government this week introduced new laws into State Parliament that aim to protect urban areas from exploration and other resource-related activities.

Mining Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the proposed changes, contained in the Resources Legislation (Balance, Certainty and Efficiency) Amendment Bill 2011, would protect the lifestyles of people living in towns near resource-rich areas.

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Cross River Rail tops Queensland's infrastructure priority list

BRISBANE'S Cross River Rail project remains at the top of the Queensland Government's list of infrastructure projects submitted to Infrastructure Australia for consideration this month, which also includes the North Brisbane Cycleway and key road upgrades serving the resource rich Surat Basin area for the first time.

Local Government Minister Paul Lucas said the status of the Cross River Rail project, a proposed 18 kilometre north-south rail line in Brisbane's inner city, has been upgraded from "threshold" to "ready to proceed" in the government's submission.

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AECOM selected for Mackay Ring Road study

AECOM Australia has been selected by the Australian Government to undertake a study to investigate the proposed Mackay Ring Road, including identifying the preferred route and preparing the detailed 'business case' for the project.

Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese said the study, which needs to be completed before any funding for construction can be approved, should have been done long ago.

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New Biodiversity Strategy for Queensland

QUEENSLAND Environment Minister Vicky Darling this week launched Queensland's first whole-of-state blueprint that aims to protect the state's ecosystems and wildlife for future generations.

Under the new Biodiversity Strategy, the government will expand national parks, more than double the coverage of nature refuges in the state, develop a cassowary rescue plan and identify new wildlife corridors for protection.

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Brisbane's RiverWalk reconstruction gets advance funding

THE reconstruction of Brisbane's RiverWalk and ferry terminals, destroyed during the summer floods, has moved ahead, with the projects receiving advance funding of almost $50 million.

Acting Premier Andrew Fraser and Federal Minister Assisting the Attorney General on Queensland Flood Recovery, Senator Joe Ludwig, announced the approval of $48 million in reconstruction funds for the projects on Thursday.

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Queensland Infrastructure Plan released

THE Queensland Government has mapped out nearly 1,000 projects as crucial to the future of the state in its inaugural infrastructure plan, a blueprint for the state's infrastructure priorities for the next 20 years and beyond.

Labelled as the nation's first state-wide infrastructure plan, Premier Anna Bligh launched the Queensland Infrastructure Plan (QIP) yesterday and said it will help improve people's lives, cater for population growth and drive the regions forward.

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Sunshine Coast Airport expansion declared a significant project

THE proposed $419 million upgrade to the Sunshine Coast Airport has been declared a significant project by the Coordinator-General.

The Sunshine Coast Regional Council, which owns and manages the airport, plans to construct a new runway and terminal and expand the aviation business precinct at the Marcoola airport site.

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Transport vision unveiled for South East Queensland

THE Queensland Government has unveiled the Connecting SEQ 2031 transport plan, articulating its transport vision over the next 20 years in South East Queensland.

Transport Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk and Main Roads Minister Craig Wallace released 'Connecting SEQ 2031: An Integrated Regional Transport Plan for South East Queensland' on Sunday.

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