Megatrends which could have major impacts on south east Queensland over the next few decades should be taken into account when preparing the new regional plan. But has the government done a good job of picking and dealing with megatrends?
If we have learnt anything over the last few decades it’s that governments don’t always plan wisely, so its crucial that people watch what they do and have a say.
Redlanders have two opportunities to “talk to a planner” about the draft SEQ Regional Plan: Shaping SEQ.
The ShapingSEQ project team will be at the Pacific Resort Cleveland 29 November (from 4 pm to 7 pm) and then at Capalaba Place Hall Wednesday 7 December (from 10am to 1pm) to answer questions about the Plan. People are asked to register as attendees before the sessions and come with prepared questions. For more information visit the Department’s web site.
The draft Plan canvasses megatrends that it (the Plan) asserts will “fundamentally influence our future”. Of some concern is that the megatrends are presented as stand alone matters that will be dealt with in a coherent manner. It is almost certain the identified megatrends will combine in unforeseen ways to deliver a complex and fast changing planning environment.
An example of uncertainty is how the impacts of megatrends arise and combine. The recent Presidential elections in the United States being a case in point. On the basis of Donald Trump’s election commitments the megatrends climate change, disaster resilience, and global connectedness will have new settings. The iidentified (and other) megatrends will probably combine and interact in ways that are unpredictable.
Yet there are no planning benchmarks on which to base a planning response.
By way of example, a couple of megatrends are discussed briefly below.
As the technological era accelerates with increases to associated living costs regarding services and commodities, society will need to increase its affluence to maintain its social development trajectories. As manufacturing employment declines and service industries try to take up the slack to increase employment opportunities, living cost will need to increase to pay for this change in employment numbers and structure.
Marginalities in the modes of production and transport of goods and services support more aggregated urban markets. The contention that urbanisation will increase to afford the consumer with increased earnings for their labour/products seems consistent with all economic development plan projections. Just a simple extrapolation of worldwide migration patterns supports the fact that immigrants prefer urban centres rather than resource extraction and/or rural agricultural centres. Presently, these non-urban centres see their own progeny contributing to this urban drift in most regions of the world. The SEQ situation appears consistent with these trends.
Clearly increased urbanisation is a real and increasing trend in economic planning. As extraction, agricultural and manufacturing production becomes more mechanised and automated this trend’s impacts can become better quantified and detailed. There is no evidence that SEQ can expect to present a different outcome. Hence, SEQ’s economical development will continue to urbanise. This megatrend is genuine.
New technologies represent one of the most influential factors for urban planners to sort out. The enforced redundancy caused by modern technologies upon the employment prospects of urban regions can see the best plans becoming marginalised because planning cycles become too short to affect desired outcomes.
Labour will be less needed as time passes. Education and community medicine may be the exception. Yet the strong institutional structures in these industries support increasing automation and labour saving innovation as well.
Although changing, extractive industries supporting employment prospects in SEQ manufacturing are likely to decline as production cost rise and alternative offshore manufacturing venues eventuate. The “Plan’s” approach to this situation suggests altering SEQ training institutions to see ahead. Decreasing production employment is shifting to alternative service employment opportunities. Initially, service industries such as health care, education, community services etc will be able to offer more employment but these jobs will become more mechanised and automated as well and thereby adversely impacting on community employment prospects.
Additionally, should some global event, increased warfare, severe climatic change [drought], international trade disruption, pandemics or a combination of any of these factors surface, it can be expected that changes to training institutions will be of little long term benefit. The singularity of cause and effect factors presented with these “megatrends” as too simplistic.
The intellect involved in identifying the megatrends surely understood the inter-connective nature of these megatrends. Yet the “Plan” deals with each mega-trend as if each is mutually exclusive, why? Arguably the Plan identified this megatrend correctly but it offers only a contemporary solution, which is not likely to materialise.
For SEQ region to benefit from technological advances will require an educated immigrant program, which is not politically acceptable presently. Arguably the “plan” deals with technical advancement in a disingenuous fashion.
Make a submission
Submissions must be provided to the Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning in writing and include the following information for all submitters:
• first and last names
• addresses (home or business)
• signatures (unless lodged electronically).
Submissions may be lodged several ways:
• Online: Lodge your submission(External link)
• Email: SEQRegionalPlan@dilgp.qld.gov.au(External link)
• Post: Draft South East Queensland Regional Plan Review Feedback, Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning, PO Box 15009, City East QLD 4000.
Collating a submission
Perhaps some people or groups would like to make one liner of specific issue submissions and make these available to other people or organisations. On this premise, Redlands2030 invites comments to this and other posts which might be collated into a coverall submission. This submission will be published and anyone will be able to submit all or part of the collated submission for input to ShapingSEQ.
To support a collated submission add a comment to this or the related posts (noting some posts have been published e.g. New SEQ Regional Plan Developed in a Vacuum and more will follow).