The Queensland Government has today launched a new taskforce, dedicated to tackling the population explosion on the Gold Coast and across the South East.
The planning team will be responsible for ensuring that there is enough housing and infrastructure development to keep up with the population boom.
“Queenslanders want to know that when they’re ready to buy their first home, they will be able to do so without being priced out of the market or when they’re ready to retire and downsize, they can do so without the need to move far away,” Deputy Premier and Minister for Planning Steven Miles said.
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“Queensland’s population is booming, and I want to ensure our government and local councils can keep up with the increase in demand for land, housing and the supporting infrastructure that comes with it.
“That’s why I’ve asked the State Planner to work with Economic Development Queensland to establish a Growth Areas Delivery Team.”
Mr Miles said the team’s focus will be on pursuing new partnerships between developers, local government, utility providers and state to support structure planning, infrastructure planning and infrastructure funding arrangements for new growth areas.
It’s understood the team’s first task will be to identify a pilot site for a new growth area.
“We’re keen to get on with the job of planning for Queensland. That’s why I will be asking the team to identify a pilot site by the end of the month,” Mr Miles said.
“The pilot site identified will be an example of how local and state governments and the private sector can work together to plan for better communities.
“The team will also work to bring land in the underutilised urban footprint to market sooner and ensure that quarterly local government infrastructure reporting identifies infrastructure spending and delivery for larger councils.”
Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate today welcomed the new taskforce, but said the team will “face the same challenges our city is managing every day” which is “how to accommodate more residents while protecting the green and open space.”
“It’s a balance and it’s difficult, especially given our city has very few greenfield sites left for residential development,” Mayor Tate said.
“The State’s SEQ Regional Plan rightly identifies large areas that must be preserved for green and open space. We support that – but it means we need to build upwards, not outwards, to meet the population targets set by the State.”
At the moment, there are 40,000 people on the State public housing waitlist, with vacancy rates on the Gold Coast at historical lows.
“I welcome the taskforce and urge it to come forward with an open mind to work with us to tackle this challenge.”