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    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure and Planning
    The Honourable Paul Lucas


    Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure and Planning
    The Honourable Paul Lucas

    Sunday, December 07, 2008


    More of South East Queensland will be off limits to developers than ever before under the Bligh Government’s long term plan to protect the region’s lifestyle.

    Premier Anna Bligh said the revised Draft South East Queensland Regional Plan 2009-2031 has been delivered a year early with a greater focus on protecting open spaces, halting urban sprawl and easing congestion.

    “This is a plan to protect the things that make South East Queensland such a great place to live, here for future generations, like our wonderful outdoors environment,” said Ms Bligh.

    “It’s a plan for smart growth, to manage our expanding population and tackle the issues of today like housing affordability, congestion and climate change.

    “More than 84 per cent of the region is off limits for urban development, protecting an extra 47,000 hectares of land or an area 42 times the size of Carindale.

    “In the 2005 plan 1.88 million hectares or 84.14% of South East Queensland was protected greenspace but under the new plan we’ve locked away 1.93 million hectares or 84.25% of the region.

    “Every extra piece of South East Queensland keep off-limits to developers is a win for the environment and a win for liveability.

    “Several important conservation areas in Brisbane, Springfield and the southern Moreton Bay islands that could previously have ended up in the urban footprint have now been locked away for protection.

    “We’ve also ruled out using Bridges on the Sunshine Coast and halted any development, in the life of the plan, at Warrill View in the Scenic Rim Regional Council.

    “I’m proud to say we’ve managed to avoid any significant changes to our existing urban footprint, which provides a clear boundary to stop sprawl and protect our natural environment, whilst providing enough land for predicted population growth.

    “This plan identifies enough land to provide the 735,500 new houses and units we will need to house our expected population through to 2031.

    “And building more homes means jobs, jobs, jobs for South East Queenslanders.

    “The focus of the growth will remain the Western Corridor, where the population will expand twice as fast as Brisbane and the coastal areas each year on average.”

    Deputy Premier and Minister for Planning and Infrastructure Paul Lucas said carefully planned areas of higher density will protect existing character homes and suburban green spaces.

    “Almost half of our growth will be housed through better use of our existing urban areas, especially around public transport hubs,” said Mr Lucas.

    “But this plan saves our backyards by increasing the average housing density in new areas and by offering a greater variety of lot sizes in those new communities,” Mr Lucas said.

    “The type of density we’re talking about is similar to what we already see in Coorparoo, Springfield and New Farm today.

    “For example, in Springfield we find lot sizes ranging from greater than 600m2 to lots as small as 180m2, which means more choice of housing types as people’s needs change throughout their lives.

    “This isn’t a push towards high-rise living instead we’re mixing things up to respond to public demand for different home types.

    “Young people are attracted by new, low maintenance apartments in central locations while families and other buyers often prefer a house in the suburbs.

    “A great example is the recently approved Ripley Valley in the Western Corridor, where a majority of homes will be conventional unattached dwellings on lots ranging from 750m2 to 360m2. However, it will also include apartment living and mixed use developments centred around public transport and activity areas.

    “People who want a proper backyard will still be able to have one while other home owners will prefer apartments or units.

    “This is about smart growth, not a one-size fits all approach and we will see something for everyone in tomorrow’s Queensland.”

    Premier Anna Bligh said smarter urban developments mixing offices, shops, open space and housing will encourage people to drive less by walking, cycling and using public transport more.

    “Embracing new urban designs will not only ensure our lifestyle stays great but, if people don’t have to drive everywhere greenhouse gas emissions will also drop,” said Ms Bligh.

    “Tomorrow’s south-east will also be affected by climate change so we’re rethinking the location of new communities, how we build them and the way residents live in them.

    “This plan demonstrates my commitment to looking over the horizon and planning for the future, and shows how we can sustainably manage growth to benefit all of the community.”

    Mr Lucas said this was a plan not just for new residents but the jobs that support them.

    “The hallmark of these new areas will be local jobs in commerce and industry, which is not only great for the workers but will reduce the congestion on our roads for others.

    “It means making sure infrastructure such as roads, public transport and services plus energy, water and sewerage supplies are in place before any new communities can be built,” said Mr Lucas.

    “And smart growth means getting jobs closer to homes.

    “People shouldn’t have to travel for hours to work – consolidation of growth will cut congestion, help the environment and make sure families have more time together.

    “Again if you look to Ripley Valley it sets the standard by aiming to have 40 percent of the resident workforce employed within its boundaries.”

    The draft regulatory provisions released with the plan feature detailed new maps and its statutory powers take effect immediately.

    Public consultation closes on April 3 and a final plan will be released in mid-2009.

    To view the draft plan visit the Department of Infrastructure and Planning, 63 George St, Brisbane or most council chambers.

    For more information call 1800 070 609 (freecall) or visit

    Media contact: Robert Hoge 0419757868; Premiers office 32244500


    • safeguards more than 84 per cent of the region’s 22, 890 sq km from urban development
    • strict controls remain in place for housing outside urban footprint
    • undeveloped areas, infill areas and rural residential lots can cater for 735,500 more houses and units
    • protects natural landscape and rural production areas from housing and rural subdivision
    • promotes more growth in the Western Corridor to take pressure off coastal communities
    • halts urban sprawl by locating new communities and jobs along public transport corridors to limit car use
    • consolidates rural growth to keep green breaks between cities and communities
    • ecofriendly tourism development allowed outside the urban footprint increased to include “medium-scale” projects, but not on ecologically significant or good quality agricultural lands
    • new sustainable housing designs and new building standards