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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Infrastructure and Planning
    The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe

    STATE PROGRESSES COOMERA DEVELOPMENT

    Minister for Infrastructure and Planning
    The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe

    Friday, December 18, 2009

    STATE PROGRESSES COOMERA DEVELOPMENT

    A new employment, health and education centre for the Gold Coast is on track following the State Government’s declaration of Coomera as a master planned area, Minister for Infrastructure and Planning Stirling Hinchliffe announced today.

    Mr Hinchliffe said structure planning for Coomera Town Centre could now progress.

    “This undeveloped site could become home to around 21,000 new dwellings and provide services to the neighbouring suburbs of Upper Coomera, Pimpama, Jacobs Well, Yatala and Alberton,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

    “We’re putting in place strategic planning that will help manage growth in this fast-growing section of South East Queensland.

    “By working with the Gold Coast City Council, we will deliver affordable housing and new jobs and services, and provide high-density residential areas, combined with entertainment, education, health, industry, retail, commercial, leisure and tourism-related activities.

    “By declaring Coomera a master planned area (MPA) under the new Sustainable Planning Act 2009, the state has provided Gold Coast City Council with the strategic direction necessary to resolve its structure plan.

    “The declaration will also set timeframes and confirm state agency involvement.

    “The Sustainable Planning Act allows government to proceed with the MPA approvals process recognising significant work already completed by council, the Department of Infrastructure and Planning and other key stakeholders.

    “New communities must be integrated and must be much more than new housing estates. They should be capable of providing local jobs, easy access to public transport and places to play while providing facilities and services for the people who will live there.’’

    Today’s declaration removes a major hurdle in the delivery of the structure plan. Now the state interest review has been formally submitted, council will be able to move closer to releasing the draft plans for community feedback.

    “For the past few months my department has been working closely with council on substantial issues raised by state agencies for this area,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

    “For Coomera, this includes balancing the need to maintain koala habitat while planning for development.’’

    Under the SPA timeframes, council will have up to 30 business days to progress the structure plan to public notification and the public will be given another 30 business days to have their say.

    The community will have full access to the structure plans and be able to make submissions once they go on display early in 2010.

    It is expected the structure plan could be adopted by council by July 2010 and developers could then immediately start detailed planning for new communities.

    “This includes making sure council’s draft structure plan identifies key environmental areas for protection, while also providing education facilities, retail and commercial nodes, health facilities and residential yield at appropriate levels,’’ Mr Hinchliffe said.

    “Each area must achieve high standards with regard to neighbourhood design, environmental sustainability and housing yields, choice and affordability to meet community needs.

    “One of the strengths of structure planning is that right from the start the state can determine major infrastructure needs which will be integrated into all future planning for the areas.’’

    Media contact: 3227 8425