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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Anna Bligh

    Growing green wedges to avoid urban sprawl

    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Anna Bligh

    Wednesday, May 26, 2010

    Growing green wedges to avoid urban sprawl

    The State Government plans to transform cane-fields and other land in South East Queensland into "green wedges" to avoid urban sprawl between our cities.

    Premier Anna Bligh said that under a new plan some of the farmland and forests between South East Queensland's urban areas would be transformed into major new parks, nature reserves and outdoor recreation areas.

    As an outcome of the Queensland Growth Management Summit held in late March,

    Ms Bligh said the region's rural inter-urban breaks would be officially protected as buffers against urban sprawl.

    “The message from the community is that we must avoid a continuous urban strip from the Gold Coast to the Sunshine Coast at all costs,” Ms Bligh said.

    “No one wants to see 200 kilometres of wall-to-wall urban development.

    “This means inter-urban breaks at places like Woongoolba and Norwell or Beerburrum must be retained.

    “At the moment these areas are dominated by rural uses such as sugar cane farming and pine forests.

    “By mid 2011 a new 10-year strategy will be developed to ensure that these green lands remain green and will be used for a range of purposes including agriculture, greenspace and outdoor recreation.

    “This will ensure that large parts of these green wedges are accessible to the people so families can enjoy walking through these open spaces, kick a football or picnic with their friends.”

    Premier Bligh said land would be purchased as it came on the market and as budgets became available.

    Member for Albert Margaret Keech said she strongly supported the protection of green space between our major cities.

    "People are telling me that we have to strike a balance between providing for growing communities and protecting our environment and the lifestyles we've come to enjoy," Mrs Keech said.

    "Particularly for an area like the Northern Gold Coast where we have some beautiful rural regions, it is important to protect the character of this land."

    Minister for Infrastructure and Planning Stirling Hinchliffe welcomed the initiative.

    “We want to engage with local community groups, landholders and local councils to find and develop these areas into accessible green assets for all Queenslanders,” he said.

    “My department is responsible for the Toward Q2 Green target of delivering 50 percent more land for public recreation by 2020 so this will be a major contribution to that target.

    “The region is predicted to grow by around 1.4 million people in the next 21 years so we need more greenspace to maintain South East Queensland's great lifestyle.

    “This strategy of protecting green wedges is just one way to deliver on that green ambition.”

    Mr Hinchliffe said the new initiative would support the intent of the recently released draft Greenspace Strategy.

    Media contact: 07 3224 4500