Long-term vision to be outlined in 'The Queensland Plan'

QUEENSLAND Premier Campbell Newman this week launched The Queensland Plan, a collaborative process that aims to involve the community, industry and all levels of government to develop a long-term vision for the state.

"This will not be a State Government plan. It will be a plan created by Queenslanders, for Queensland and will influence the future decision making of all levels of government, industry and community groups," Mr Newman said, as he encouraged all Queenslanders to have their say.

"If we don't know where we want to be as a state, we could end up anywhere.  This is about Queenslanders taking ownership of our long-term future."

A summit, to be held in Mackay on May 10, will be used to discuss the best ways of engaging local communities in the process and to determine which questions need to be asked to help Queenslanders develop the long-term vision, according to Mr Newman.

Mr Newman said the engagement process needs to be tailored to cater for a diverse range of communities and added that online resources and a comprehensive website will be provided to enable Queenslanders to give their views if they cannot be involved in face-to-face discussions.

A second summit, expected to be held in September 2013, will review and prioritise the feedback received. The Queensland Plan is due for release before the end of the year.

The Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) welcomed the initiative and said it is ready to contribute to the process but called for an agreed program of strategic planning to be in place across Queensland.

PIA Queensland President Kate Isles said the need for a strategic vision was included in PIA's wish list last year during the consultation process for planning reform.

"We support the need for a clear picture of where Queensland should be in 30 years and welcome the community's involvement. We do however have concerns that these ideas need to be considered and supported with a clear planning strategy," Ms Isles said.

"Our concern is that the good ideas that may come out of this process aren't forgotten, or documented for the sake of being documented. They must be included in a long term strategic vision for the State - a vision that all levels of government, industry and community will commit to.

"One of the great things about an initiative such as this is that it gets people in communities everywhere thinking about planning and how important it is for getting communities right - now and for the future. Local knowledge is expert knowledge," Ms Isles said.

Ms Isles said the contents of The Queensland Plan will have to be compatible with other planning initiatives and programs already underway in Queensland.

The Property Council of Australia said the plan will provide much needed direction for Queensland's future and help to guide the state's economic development and expand its green credentials.

"The Queensland Plan should look beyond identifying areas for urban expansion to include social and physical infrastructure requirements, as well as fostering creativity and innovation," said Kathy Mac Dermott, Queensland Executive Director of the Property Council.

"It must go further than motherhood statements and generic reports to provide measurable goals, targets and key performance indicators, for both public and private sectors to achieve.

"We have witnessed the benefits of South Australia's strategic plan, and encourage the Government to develop The Queensland Plan based on this highly successful model," Ms Mac Dermott said.

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