Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Growth Agenda Lacking Any Critical Analysis

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Growth Agenda Lacking Any Critical Analysis

Article excerpt

THE Queensland Government is currently running a road show seeking community input into its new planning scheme for south east Queensland.

It is urging communities to come and have their say, to engage planning department officers and explain their vision for what Deputy Premier Jackie Trad describes as what will be a very different place in 25 years.

The reason it will be so different is because this consultation process is as flawed as the one being run by Sekisui House at Yaroomba and that which has been quietly driven by Stockland at Twin Waters.

The future Ms Trad wants your help in designing is predicated on a set of population growth projections that would see an additional two million people in the south-east corner by 2041.

Just where those people go will be where all the big bets have already been made, or at the very least options secured on land whose current value is nothing compared to price this population growth will ultimately secure it.

The rewards are not so apparent for anyone else.

South-east Queensland already lacks the infrastructure to function efficiently.

Traffic congestion, antiquated rail networks, crowded schools, ramping at hospitals, unaffordable housing, environmental degradation, ever-rising prices for water and electricity are all symptoms of a system under stress.

So too are state budgets around Australia that won't balance and can never balance as long as they are being constantly used to fund more, but ultimately never better.

As election campaign promises go the $187 million for the Bruce Highway this week should be seen in the context of the $1bn plus committed to the section from Caloundra Road to the Sunshine Motorway, a bill created by population growth in the old railway towns and Caloundra.

It is a very small amount of money that will do little if anything to ease the existing daily gridlock and the greater chaos that looms when Caloundra South realises its full growth potential.

Yet the question remains, and would exist whoever was in government in this state, where do you want to put them?

Population growth is seen as an inevitability, but its benefits are never explained. …

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