Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

'Don't Fence Us In' Says Development Industry

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

'Don't Fence Us In' Says Development Industry

Article excerpt

Byline: Bill Hoffman

GIVE me land, lots of land under starry skies above, don't fence me in; went the well-known song.

Once the background music to advertising for residential land in the early days of Brisbane's northern urban creep towards Caboolture, the words could now act as a summary of the development industry's expectations of the state government.

In a stinging rebuke of Queensland's planning processes, the Urban Development Industry of Australia Queensland branch submission to the draft SEQ regional plan claims that declining building rates for new dwellings in the state could be directly attributable to the imposition of growth boundaries, coupled with the high level of mandated infill and what it describes as "extortionate" headworks charges.

Failing the removal of those boundaries and impositions, it wants planning processes to guarantee the achievement of staged targets towards ultimate population outcomes in line with forecast numbers for south-east Queensland, which would see the Sunshine Coast with a population of at least 515,000 by 2031.

The UDIA states that there remain too many restrictions to development within the urban footprint and that koala and vegetation mapping have the capacity to impose constraints for which there should be compensation.

The submission says that since the draft document's release last December, there had been significant job cuts in the industry, with estimates reaching as high as 40% in some sectors and about 100,000 jobs at stake.

It says that when construction employment in Queensland was 100,000 in 1997, 3000 development approvals were being delivered each month.

Now with employment in excess of 200,000, monthly approvals were down to less than 1800.

The UDIA said dwelling target numbers had become less firm in the draft plan, which it said provided little assurance they would be facilitated.

This was true even within the urban footprint due to stringent and prohibitive controls.

The UDIA position is completely at odds with that of the Sunshine Coast council and community organisations, which want planning on the basis of the measured carrying capacity of the land. …

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