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    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Assistant Minister for Planning Reform
    The Honourable Ian Walker

    Consultation begins to protect flood-prone communities

    Assistant Minister for Planning Reform
    The Honourable Ian Walker

    Friday, February 15, 2013

    Consultation begins to protect flood-prone communities

    The Newman Government will begin consulting with industry and local government to ensure legal protection for councils from inappropriate development on flood-prone land.

    Assistant Minister for Planning Reform Ian Walker said the protection of Queenslanders was paramount and the state had to canvas possible legislative improvements.

    “The tragic deaths and loss of homes and businesses in the 2010-11 and 2013 floods highlighted that there is no room for complacency for governments on this issue,” Mr Walker said.

    “Queensland is the only state that allows compensation arising from planning scheme changes based on solid planning principles, especially in relation to flooding.”

    “Developers who want the best for communities should work closely with the state and local government to find a way forward on best-practice planning schemes that address flooding head on.

    “The Newman Government has always said it will make life easier for local governments to be at their most effective for their communities.  This change may ensure that local governments make better planning decisions without fear of costly legal battles.

    “Providing certainty for councils in this all-important area of planning is our goal.”

    Mr Walker said considering a legislative change to the compensation provisions of the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 was a key recommendation from the Flood Commission of Inquiry – recommendation 4.1(b).

    “The Newman Government is also committed to consulting with the property and development industries about possible statutory exemptions that prevent legal action against councils that provide advice in good faith,” he said.

    “This approach has the support of the Local Government Association of Queensland and was generally supported at a development industry forum on SPA amendments in mid-2012.

    “Our next step is to engage meaningfully with the Urban Development Institute of Australia, Property Council of Australia and Housing Industry Association and others about their views.”

    This first round of consultation is to ask what the community and other groups would like to see in the draft provisions.  Subsequent consultation will be on the provisions themselves.

    Mr Walker said section 733 of NSW’s Local Government Act 1993 had successfully addressed the issue and may be an option for Queensland.

    Compensation arising from planning scheme changes has been in place in Queensland since the Local Government Act 1936, with an ability for a person to seek redress from certain adverse effects to a person’s development rights.

    [ENDS] 15 February 2013

    Media contact:
    Kate Haddan – 0418 373 516