State Govt leaves door open for even more growth
  • Wednesday 29 July 2009

Sunshine Coast Mayor Bob Abbot said he was disappointed by the government’s refusal to rule out development on a large tract of land near the sensitive Pumicestone Passage.

The government today unveiled its blueprint for future settlement in South East Queensland, identifying two sites on the Sunshine Coast as potential growth areas.

The SEQ Regional Plan 2009-2031 allows for further investigation of the Stockland-owned land in the Hall’s Creek catchment and the Beerwah-Caloundra South corridor before a decision is made on which site would be seriously considered for development down the track.

The plan lists a series of criteria that must be met before either site would be deemed suitable for long-term residential and employment growth on the Sunshine Coast.

Prior to the plan’s release, Cr Abbot and the Sunshine Coast Council had campaigned strongly against any development that would impact on the Pumicestone Passage.

He said Council was determined to build a rock solid environmental case to ensure the area was protected for future generations.

“Our intention is to prove that the impact on the Pumicestone Passage would be too great to allow development of this site to happen at any point in the future,” Cr Abbot said.

“Large sections of this land are flood prone, the site contains significant habitats and development in this area would put enormous pressure on water quality.

“On top of that, the land is simply not needed for more housing.

The Mayor said Council would also undertake detailed investigation of the potential impact of development in the Caloundra South-Beerwah corridor.

“We are still digesting the detail but it is clear this is not a done deal and there are still opportunities for good planning outcomes for our region,” Cr Abbot said.

Cr Abbot said he was shocked to see the urban footprint had been extended to the east of Caboolture in a move that significantly eroded remaining open space between the Sunshine Coast and Moreton Bay regions.

He and his counterpart in Moreton Bay, Allan Sutherland, had campaigned vigorously against any change that would diminish the inter-urban break and bring the South East corner closer to continuous urban sprawl from Noosa to the NSW border.