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    Deputy Premier, Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning
    The Honourable Jeff Seeney

    Land use priorities set in draft Darling Downs regional plan

    Deputy Premier, Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning
    The Honourable Jeff Seeney

    Friday, June 28, 2013

    Land use priorities set in draft Darling Downs regional plan

    The Darling Downs’ towns and important agricultural land will be protected, while there will be opportunities for resources sector growth and co-existence, under the draft Darling Downs Regional Plan.

    The draft plan was released today for public consultation until late September.

    Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Jeff Seeney said the new generation regional plan would deliver outcomes that aligned with the state’s interests in planning and development.

    “The draft Darling Downs Regional Plan seeks to address land use conflicts between agriculture and mining – two vital pillars of the Queensland economy,” Mr Seeney said.

    “It protects the region’s priority agricultural land uses by defining the key criteria that will need to be met in order for agriculture and resources development to successfully co-exist within mapped Priority Agricultural Areas (PAA).

    “The previous Government’s Strategic Cropping Land legislation failed to protect the most important agricultural land uses, was overly burdensome for resource developments and had adverse consequences for landholders. 

    “The Strategic Cropping Land legislation will be reviewed and amended to facilitate the implementation of the new regional plan and processes will be streamlined to remove unintended consequences for landholders.

    “The Darling Downs region has some of Queensland’s most diverse agricultural assets and an abundance of coal, natural gas and other resource deposits.

    “The plan will protect our most productive agricultural assets by identifying and mapping the PAAs that require protection from the encroachment of incompatible resource activity.”

    Mr Seeney said the plan also provided certainty for the future of towns by mapping Priority Living Areas (PLAs) and identifying infrastructure opportunities in the area.

    “This specific land-use mapping will improve certainty for communities and business in a region that has experienced significant change following growth in the mining and gas industry sectors,” he said.

    “My department has workshopped key issues with representatives from local government, the agricultural and resource sectors and the community and held information sessions in Roma, Warwick, Goondiwindi and Toowoomba.

    “I’ve also chaired meetings with the Regional Planning Committee – made up of mayors, local members and other groups – and have heard firsthand the range of views that are held by the group.

    “I now encourage Darling Downs residents to read the draft plan and have their say before the 20 September deadline.”

    The draft Darling Downs Regional Plan includes the local government areas of Balonne Shire Council, and the Goondiwindi, Maranoa, Southern Downs, Toowoomba and Western Downs regional councils.

    To view the plan and find out how to make a submission, visit www.dsdip.qld.gov.au/darling-downs

    [ENDS] 28 June 2013

    Media Contact:
    Kate Haddan 0418 373 516