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    Minister for Local Government, Planning and Sport
    The Honourable Andrew Fraser

    Urban Footprint to control FNQ growth: Fraser

    Minister for Local Government, Planning and Sport
    The Honourable Andrew Fraser

    Monday, October 09, 2006

    Urban Footprint to control FNQ growth: Fraser

    Local Government and Planning Minister Andrew Fraser today announced $3.7 million would be allocated to developing Far North Queensland’s first ever regulatory Regional Plan.

    Mr Fraser said the Plan would be developed with input from councils, the community, development groups and environmental groups.

    “For the first time outside the South East, we will place an Urban Footprint over those areas of the Far North that are suitable for urban and residential development,” Mr Fraser said.

    “We will legislate so urban development can only occur inside this Footprint. All land outside the Urban Footprint will be protected from development.

    “This Plan will protect the Far North’s agricultural areas, environmentally sensitive areas and will be a major boost to the longevity of the region’s tourism economy.

    “There are some immediately obvious areas that we need to lock away from urban development, areas such as the Daintree rainforest and CapeTribulation in the north, and the productive cane lands south of Cairns.

    “It is expected that Far North Queensland will grow by around 3500 people every year over the next 20 years.

    “We cannot allow this growth to lead to urban sprawl or unwanted rural residential developments, which will impact on the very qualities that make the Far North such a popular place to call home.”

    Mr Fraser said a project team would be established and based in Cairns and the Far North Plan would be developed along the same lines as the successful South East Queensland Regional Plan.

    “The Regional Plan will also be supported by a dedicated Far North Queensland Infrastructure Plan, which will map out future infrastructure commitments for the region.

    “The Urban Footprint will be used to guide any decisions on new infrastructure.”

    Mr Fraser said the initial Draft Plan would be developed with input from key interest groups particularly councils, environmental and community groups and the development sector.

    “I expect to have a Draft Plan out for community consultation by late 2007.

    “We will make sure however, that the legislation supporting the Plan comes into force when the Draft Plan is released.

    “The Beattie Government made a commitment at the recent election to implement a statutory regional plan and we are moving on that commitment.”

    Media Contact: Chris Taylor 3227 8825 or 0419 710 874
    October 6 2006