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    Media Statements

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

    Queensland’s North West powers ahead

    Minister for Infrastructure and Planning
    The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe

    Tuesday, August 10, 2010

    Queensland’s North West powers ahead

    Minister for Infrastructure and Planning Stirling Hinchliffe has unveiled a new statutory plan to guide social and economic growth in North West Queensland over the next 20 years.

    In Mount Isa to launch the North West Regional Plan, Mr Hinchliffe said the blueprint struck the right balance between the region’s social, economic and environmental needs and aspirations.

    “This plan provides the statutory framework for the region to continue to develop a robust, diverse and sustainable economy with well-planned and coordinated infrastructure and services,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

    “By identifying the North West’s infrastructure and service priorities the regional plan, along with the existing Northern Economic Triangle plan, will help state agencies, government-owned corporations, local governments and the private sector better coordinate their development programs.

    “I’d like to thank everyone involved in this process for their input and local insight; it will ensure the whole region benefits from improved planning coordination and also deliver a clear future plan which responds to the individual needs of each community in the North West.

    “Led by Growth Management Queensland, the statutory regional planning program has now seen six regional plans finalised with two further draft plans to be released in the near future.

    Member for Mount Isa Betty Kiernan welcomed the release of the North West Regional Plan.

    She said it would provide the community with much greater certainty about where development can occur and would guarantee future development was appropriate to each region, to complement existing business and industry.

    “When reviewing planning schemes and developing community plans, local governments will need to reflect and respond to this regional plan – providing planning cohesion, designed to explore and further develop the many synergies of our great region,” she said.

    “The North West Regional Plan was prepared in consultation and cooperation with a wide range of stakeholders, including the North West Regional Planning Committee, to determine how we can meet the challenges of the future.

    “I’d like to make special mention of the local councils for their contribution; this plan will succeed because it was developed and be will be championed by local leaders.”

    Priorities identified in the North West Regional Plan include:

    ·Providing energy, water and transport infrastructure

    ·Attracting and retaining skilled workers and their families

    ·Renewable energy options

    ·Value-added minerals processing

    ·Increasing tourism

    ·Providing essential services to smaller centres.

    Ms Kiernan said she was pleased the plan recognised the need to address the social impacts of large-scale development projects in the region, to assist local and state governments make the right decisions for future development.

    “It also addresses the need for an integrated transport plan, more affordable housing, the regional delivery of health services and developing a regional approach to minimising greenhouse gas emissions.”

    The Minister said the next step would be the preparation of a five-year action plan and an annual implementation program.

    “The North West Regional Plan reflects the Queensland Government’s commitment to develop statutory regional plans for Queensland, to ensure strong regional communities,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

    To view the North West Regional Plan, visit www.dip.qld.gov.au/northwest

    Contact 3224 8750