THE Queensland Government last week announced the release of the draft South East Queensland Regional Plan, which provides a 50 year vision for the South East, with a focus on community, affordable living, future jobs and maximising existing infrastructure.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning Jackie Trad said the plan was developed through extensive consultation with the region's 12 councils, industry and the community.
"It's vital that the SEQ Regional Plan reflects the values, needs and great ideas of the community which is why we worked in close partnership with the region's 12 Mayors and consulted with South East Queenslanders to develop this draft plan," Ms Trad said.
"The population of South East Queensland is expected to grow to over 5.3 million people in the next 25 years and the draft SEQ Regional Plan is all about catering for this growth sustainably.
"We are looking, for the first time, beyond the boundary of a 25-year plan and have developed a 50-year vision that looks ahead to the region's longer-term future and how SEQ responds to global changes.
"Throughout the State we are seeing innovative new industries emerge, the delivery of exciting urban renewal precincts and more and more people choosing to call Queensland home.
"Through smart planning we can ensure that we are ready to capitalise on the transition to a services and knowledge driven economy. That means a lift in economic growth and more jobs for Queenslanders."
Ms Trad said one of the important features of the draft SEQ Regional Plan was a focus on unlocking land that has been identified for urban development but has so far been underutilised.
"The draft plan focuses on affordable living – not just affordable housing – and looks at the way that people interact with their community and the services around them.
"We have identified areas of regional economic significance throughout the southeast to facilitate economic growth outside the major employment hubs and enable people to work and live closer to home.
"Unlocking land already within the urban footprint is critical, ensuring that there is less demand for expanding into our natural environment.
"We want the SEQ Regional Plan to be shaped by South East Queenslanders and I encourage the community to have their say during upcoming consultation sessions across the region or online."
According to the government, some new areas of focus for the draft SEQ Regional Plan are:
- Employment benchmarks to ensure areas of future urban growth are identified;
- Greater housing choice – ensures housing diversity meets the changing make-up of the region's population;
- Smart infrastructure investment – public and active transport will be prioritised as a means of accessing local services and employment. The SEQ Regional Plan will inform future State Infrastructure Plan updates;
- Identifying areas of regional significance where we can attract investment and high-value economic activities; and
- Identifying and protecting regional biodiversity corridors.