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Planning and Development Policy

Beliefs

The Queensland Greens believe:
  1. That the aim of planning is to produce communities that are diverse, sustainable and liveable, and which articulate the reasonable aspirations of the community.
  2. That planning policies should be developed by communities, local governments and state governments, to serve the needs of the community.
  3. That an increased reliance on private car use leads to a decrease in community engagement whereas a focus on walkable neighbourhoods, cycling facilities and public transport infrastructure leads to an increase in community life.
  4. That proper community consultation is a necessary condition of good planning and should be adequately resourced by government.
  5. That urban sprawl places pressure on the natural environment by way of land clearing and reliance on private, fossil fuel driven motor vehicles for transport
  6. That new development should feature the most energy and water efficient design available.
  7. That there must be an integration of land use and transport planning, including planning controls requiring that new development be sited on, or connected to, transit routes.
  8. That too much of our precious agricultural land is being given up for mining, dams and housing.
  9. That Queensland needs a State-wide decentralisation (population and settlement dispersal) plan, which acknowledges regional limits to ecological carrying capacity.
  10. That unconstrained population growth in the face of constrained resources such as water and arable land is unwise and unsustainable.
  11. That planning and development must be integrated with energy policies and play a key role in avoiding and mitigating climate change.

Goals

The Queensland Greens want to:
  1. Stop urban sprawl and maintain productive rural land uses, landscape values and open space in all urbanising regions.
  2. Bring about and maintain a high standard of living, including community engagement, for all Queensland residents.
  3. Minimise the impact of the built environment on the natural environment.
  4. Ensure planning regulations contain stringent benchmarks for energy and water efficiency and take sustainable transport and service delivery into account.
  5. Maintain urban green space and waterfronts for the use of the public.
  6. Facilitate decentralised urban areas through the development of town centres and urban villages based on concentration of services and increased residential density around public transport nodes with adequate public green space.
  7. Plan for services such as schools, hospitals, government housing and community facilities in the town centres outside urban centres.
  8. Ensure that ecologically sustainable development is advanced when exercising planning functions and assessing development applications under the Integrated Planning Act (IPA).

Measures

The Queensland Greens will:
  1. Reintroduce the ability to prohibit some forms of development in particular areas (zones) into the Integrated Planning Act (IPA).
  2. Remove the injurious affection compensation provisions of IPA, so that the threat of having to pay compensation does not hamper steps by local government to undo planning mistakes incorporated in earlier planning schemes and development approvals.
  3. Remove from IPA the process of Preliminary Approvals, which circumvent community consultation on the detail of development applications.
  4. Amend IPA so that any existing approval older than two years is taken to have lapsed, and the holder of the approval must reapply for a new approval.
  5. Amend IPA to reduce the ability of Councils to ignore planning scheme provisions at the behest of development interests who claim “sufficient grounds” exist for approving development which conflicts with the town plan.
  6. Include specific reference in IPA to addressing climate change and develop a State Planning Policy on reducing greenhouse emissions and adapting to climate change.
  7. Amend IPA to increase the concurrence role of the Environmental Protection Agency in assessing the environmental impact of development applications.
  8. Establish processes for a formal public consultation and submission process on the content of a state-wide urban decentralisation plan, which acknowledges regional limits to ecological carrying capacity.
  9. Reform the SEQ Regional Plan, and ensure all future Regional Plans:
    • The basis of the SEQ Regional Plan must be achieving ecologically sustainable development.  Priority should not be given to population growth at the expense of the environment and social arms of sustainability.  Population projections should not be used as planning targets or requirements at regional and local levels.
    • Conduct a full assessment of the carrying capacity of the SEQ Region including water availability, infrastructure capacity and critical wildlife habitat, both now and in a climate-constrained future. Ensure the SEQ Regional Plan does not provide for development beyond the ecologically sustainable carrying capacity of the region.
    • The SEQ Regional Plan should be revised to focus on climate change mitigation and adaptation through regional planning designed at reducing Queensland’s emissions.  The region’s carbon footprint should be identified and targets set to reduce greenhouse gases by sector.
    • To provide for a diverse range of housing needs including affordable housing, while ensuring that housing affordability is not used to justify ecologically unsustainable overdevelopment.
    • To fully protect significant regional biodiversity and wildlife corridors, including the habitat of endangered and vulnerable species and SEQ koala habitat, and protect endangered and of concern regional ecosystems from further development.
    • To provide more open space and recreational land at the regional and local levels (with a target of 4 hectares per 1,000 people), but not at the expense of conservation areas.
  10. Repeal the anti-environment and anti-community State Development and Public Works Organisation Act 1971 and subject all infrastructure proposals to Queensland’s planning and environmental laws.
  11. Establish comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement laws administered by the Environmental Protection Authority applying to all high impact development applications or development in sensitive areas.
  12. Grant State legal aid funding for public interest environmental and planning cases (minimum of $1 million per year).
  13. Provide $500,000 per year for the operation of Queensland community-based, public interest environmental and planning law offices.
  14. Provide a minimum of $4 million per year funding for community and peak environment council participation and involvement in the preparation and amendment of planning schemes, planning policies, integrated transport and regional plans, and to research and prepare public submissions on development applications of State, regional and major local significance.
  15. Support the creation of urban villages and town centres by upgrading public transport systems, rezoning the surrounding land for medium to high density and protecting nearby green space from development.
  16. Locate government housing near public transport hubs and upgrade public transport services in areas with large amounts of government housing.
  17. Attract residents to regional areas and provincial cities by developing business location and development policies; public service relocation; cultural, educational, recreational, and infrastructure development; and State support for local government investment.
  18. Make retrofitting of solar (or heat pump if solar is not viable) water heating to rental properties mandatory.
  19. Ensure all new housing developments have a minimum of 20% affordable housing, to deliver an overall amount of 10% affordable, community and emergency housing within each region of Queensland.

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