Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate has welcomed the new draft plan for the future development of South East Queensland, labelling it a guarantee for the prosperity of future generations on the Gold Coast.
The 50-year vision, released by the Queensland Government on Thursday morning, maps out the future direction for economic development and social growth.
Mayor Tate says it’s all about the ability of future generations to find work, afford a home and enjoy all the Coast has to offer.
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The document gives the City of Gold Coast the ability to forward plan, and most importantly, broaden the region’s economic base, he said.
“While protecting our green spaces, it also gives us the flexibility, especially along the Light Rail corridor for us to have a higher density of development and build up.
“The key issue for us on the Gold Coast is broadening our economy so we become more of a city that doesn’t only rely on tourism.”
The mayor pointed to the city’s growing Health and Knowledge Precinct, centered around Griffith University and the adjacent Gold Coast University Hospital, as well as the growth of the I.T industry in the region.
Deputy Premier Jackie Trad said the plan was developed through extensive consultation with the region’s 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.
With the population predicted to grow to over 5.3 million people over the next 25 years, the government believes this new draft plan will help cater for that amount of growth.
“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,” Ms Trad said.
“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.
“Unlocking land already within the urban footprint is critical, ensuring that there is less demand for expanding into our natural environment,” she said.
Another aspect of the plan was to consider the services required.
“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.
While Urban Development Institute of Australia President Stephen Harrison welcomed today’s announcement, he also believes it’s important to shift focus from the apartment boom to high quality urban design outcomes in inner to middle ring suburbs.
“The supply of infill housing is currently constrained by a number of factors and the regional plan needs to ensure some of the challenges associated with currently delivering infill development including fragmented land tenure and planning impediments are addressed, so that the targets of the regional plan can be realised,” Mr Harrison said.
Mr Harrison said it’s important that there is a supporting and dedicated infrastructure and public transport plan and implementation measures including a long term land supply monitoring system.
“It is critical that that funding is dedicated to ensure that the outcomes of the regional plan are supported by an extensive performance monitoring program including land supply” he said.
Residents across South East Queensland are being called on to have their say on the draft plan with extended public consultation open until 3 March 2017.
There will be 22 community events where residents can talk to a planner in each of the 12 council areas.
To view the draft report or to register for the Gold Coast forum visit- www.shapingseq.com.au