Protection group puts development in its place
  • Tuesday 23 November 2010

When it comes to local development, Sunshine Coast Council is ready and willing to embrace positive change but not at the environment’s expense.

Division 1 Councillor and Social Strategy portfolio Anna Grosskreutz said Council had formed an internal Greater Glasshouse Mountains Protection Zone Working Group that aimed to address the ongoing loss of inter-urban green space between Caboolture and Caloundra.

"As chair of this group I am very concerned about encroaching houses, industries and land use changes that are occurring in this stretch," she said.

"We’re certainly not opposed to development as long as it occurs in the right areas and not as a result of destruction of forests.

"Council has directed the internal Greater Glasshouse Mountains Protection Zone Working Group to examine how it can assist the State Government to connect public lands and deal with land use issues so that we can maintain our regional breathing space."

Cr Grosskreutz said the working group would determine and map key protection areas and advise Council how to achieve its conservation aims. The group would also liaise with State Government over long-term retention of forestry areas and discuss areas of mutual interest with Moreton Bay Regional Council.

"We want to create and enforce a protection zone from the Pumicestone Passage to the Glasshouse Mountains that will complement heritage listing of the Glasshouse Mountains and international treaties covering the Pumicestone area," she said.

Cr Grosskreutz said the working group would also provide Council with recommendations on suitable planning and protection mechanisms that would be adopted in the new Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme.

"Council is determined that the Greater Glasshouse Mountains Protection Zone will be maintained and preserved for generations to come," she said.

"We don’t want to become part of a super metropolis east of the Bruce Highway and sacrifice our aim to be Australia’s most sustainable region - vibrant, green and diverse."

A report on the group’s findings is expected to go to the December Council meeting.