Residents urged to take a stand on Palmview
  • Friday 05 March 2010

Council and the State Government are at odds over key elements of a planned new community at Palmview that could set a precedent for future development in the region.

The state government has scrapped a series of sustainability measures originally included in the structure plan for Palmview, and they have set a minimum population for the site.

Council is now urging the community to take a stand and send a clear message to the Government about its vision for the region’s future.

Mayor Bob Abbot said this was a ‘make or break’ development for the Sunshine Coast, and it was essential for the community to speak up.

“This is the last opportunity for residents to have their say about Palmview and it will have major repercussions for our region,” Cr Abbot said.

“Council wanted to create an outstanding transit-oriented, sustainable community on this site, we devoted a lot of time and resources to getting the planning right and these changes do not support our original intent.

“The Government’s decision to considerably reduce vegetation buffers in some areas, scrap energy provisions and make our maximum population for the area a minimum target is deeply worrying.

“We are also very concerned that they have chosen to use the term ‘infrastructure arrangements’ rather than ‘infrastructure agreements’, which suggests a less than iron-clad guarantee that the infrastructure will be in place when it’s needed.”

Regional Strategy and Planning Committee chair and Integrated Transport portfolio spokeswoman, Vivien Griffin, said the government’s changes to the original plans should set alarm bells ringing for every resident who backed Council’s aim to create a sustainable future for the region.

“We have been instructed by the Minister to dilute the sustainability requirements we had written into our structure plans and I want residents to be very clear about that,” Cr Griffin said.

“The community has just thirty business days to respond to the Government’s plans and I hope as many people as possible will take the opportunity to send in a submission.

“We are now at a crossroads. Palmview was expected to house around 13,800 new residents and the way it is developed will have an enormous impact on our entire region.”

Changes imposed by the state government include:

  • Council’s maximum population of 13,830 for Palmview has been made the minimum population for the area
  • The buffer to the Bruce Highway has been reduced from 200 metres to 80 metres
  • Council has been instructed to remove the requirement for a master plan application to include an integrated water cycle management plan, energy management plan, sustainable transport plan, affordable living plan and economic impact assessment report
  • Council has been instructed to remove its energy provisions and its goal for the community to become carbon neutral by 2020
  • Ecological buffers have been substantially reduced in some areas
  • The capacity of the east-west Greenlink to be a significant public transport corridor has been reduced
  • References to infrastructure agreements have been removed and replaced with infrastructure arrangements
  • The clear boundary between developable areas and non-developable areas has been removed

Environment portfolio holder, Keryn Jones said the changes appeared to contradict the stated goals contained in the Government own Q2 strategy.

“The Green Queensland targets in Q2 include reducing our carbon footprint by a third and protecting 50 per cent more land for nature conservation and public recreation,” Cr Jones said.

“Our plans did that and we’ve been told to take those measures out.

“I strongly encourage Sunshine Coast residents to let the State Government know what they think of these plans, and what they want for the future of our region.”

Council will receive written submissions until 4.30pm on Monday 19 April 2010.

Visit council’s customer service centres, libraries or website to view the Proposed Palmview Structure Plan and associated planning scheme amendments and to find out how to have your say.

For further information please contact the Strategic Planning Branch (Caloundra Office) via council’s customer service centre.