We're Far from Full Says Lobbyist

Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia), January 14, 2010 | Go to article overview

We're Far from Full Says Lobbyist


Byline: Bill Hoffman

CLAIMS by the property industry that the Sunshine Coast could accommodate massive increases in population without impacting on residents' quality of life, or the environment, have been rebuffed.

In the first post-Christmas salvo in what is shaping as a major battle over the level of growth the region could sustain while maintaining ecological, economic and social balance, the Property Council of Queensland said the Coast was a long way from full.

The industry lobby group used the Local Government Comparative Information for 2007-08 as a basis for its claims.

Property council executive director Steve Greenwood said that with apositive policiesa the Coast could experience a growth-driven economic boom rather than turning into Australia's biggest retirement village within a generation.

He said the Coast's population density of 100 people per square kilometre was significantly lower than Brisbane's density of 775, the Gold Coast's 367, Ipswich with 142, Logan's 296, Redland's 255 and 177 in the Moreton Bay regional council area.

Mr Greenwood said the department of infrastructure and planning figures showed the Coast's annual population group at 1% was well under that of 2.47%, which was the combined average of the other areas.

"When you read policies produced by (Sunshine Coast) council, such as the draft statement of proposals for the new planning scheme released last year, you can't help but conclude that the council views growth in a negative light and wants to somehow put up a a[approximately]region full' sign sooner rather than later,'' Mr Greenwood said.

His comments have been dismissed as aintellectually disgracefula by Sunshine Coast councillor Vivien Griffin who said the former Local Government Association of Queensland environmental management advisor had asold his soul to the devila.

Ms Griffin said conclusions on population per area could not be drawn without first looking at the character of the land. …

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