ShapingSEQ, the newly approved regional plan for south east Queensland, will cater for rapid population growth over the next 25 years and beyond.
The South East Queensland Regional Plan 2017, known as ShapingSEQ, was adopted by Minister for Planning Jackie Trad on 11 August 2017. The new Plan replaces the South East Queensland Regional Plan 2009–2031.
Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning representatives Ms Anna McGrath and Mr Sean Collingwood discussed the new regional plan at a Redlands2030 meeting on 24 August.
Key points raised during the discussion included:
- A majority of public submissions about the draft regional plan came from Redlands
- Government forecasts had underestimated population growth over the past decade
- Population growth projections for Redland City don’t factor in the proposed Toondah Harbour project which sits outside the normal planning framework
Mick de Brenni the MP for Springwood (including Sheldon and Mt Cotton), who is Minister for Housing and Public Works and Minister for Sport, will be the guest speaker at Redlands2030’s next meeting on Thursday 28 September.
Majority of submissions came from the Redlands
Redland City residents contributed more than 60% of the 3,300 submissions to the draft Regional Plan.
Only 873 submissions (26% of the total) came from other council areas in south east Queensland with the remainder coming from outside the region.
Clearly the community most concerned about the regional plan is Redlands.
The huge Redland City response to the draft Regional Plan was attributed to Community Alliance for Responsible Planning” (or C.A.R.P.) who provided residents with a template for making submissions arguing for reduced population growth.
CARP was clearly instrumental in driving, what Minister Trad referred to as a “phenomenal” community response to the Plan.
The Minister, Jacki Trad and her planners set an ambitious task in the new Plan by intending to show how the Region will grow, prosper, connect, sustain and live over the next 25 years.
The new Plan is essentially a growth management plan which ignores calls by CARP and the community for population growth to be reduced or halted.
By 2042 the region’s population is expected to increase by 1.9 million to 5.3 million people.
Over the same period Redland City’s ppopulation is expected to grow by 36,000 people (26%) from 152,000 to 188,000.
This does not include a possible extra 8,000 to 10,000 people if the Walker Group’s proposed Toondah Harbour mega development were to happen.
Development in the Toondah Harbour Priority Development Area (PDA) is controlled by the State Government under the Economic Development Act separate from the regional planning process. The Toondah PDA is NOT in the Urban Footprint of the new Regional Plan.
From 2011 to 2016 the actual population growth of the region exceeded projected population growth by about 15%. This forecasting error may explain why the community is consistently calling for better provision of infrastructure like roads.
A population of 7 million in south east Queensland by 2067 is projected in the Plan’s 50 year vision.
The Plan’s basic philosophy is that land will continue to be made available for development with community and environmental values a secondary consideration.
Employment planning baselines reflect Queensland Government projections of possible future employment growth. Regionally the projection is from 1,580,881 (in 2016) growing to 2,600,502 (in 2041) which is an expected growth of 64% to 2041.
These figures require growth in employment to be about 10% faster than the population growth. In discussion audience questions raised the lack of alignment in these figures. There was a suggestion that to achieve this outcome employment in SEQ will need to defy world wide trends impacted by robotics and technology.
Redlands employment is projected to grow from 44,781 to 69,193 which would be a mammoth achievement involving employment growth of 55% going forward while the population grows by 26%. Actual growth in recent years has been minimal.
Redlands outcomes from ShapingSEQ
Under the new Plan the identity of Redland City has been blurred and the City becomes part of the Metro sub-region together with Brisbane, Logan and Moreton Bay council areas. It seems likely that the Brisbane component will have planning priority and get most infrastructure funding.
The finalised regulatory map acknowledged community concerns about future use of the Commonwealth lands at Birkdale.
It was designated Urban Footprint in the Draft ShapingSEQ Plan in response to a request from Redland City Council.
After further assessment and submissions received from the Redlands community this area was designated Regional Landscape and Rural Production Area in the final plan.
Council and the community were clearly at odds on that issue, and its seems the Government in this instance took notice of what the community said..
The Southern Redland Bay area was designated Regional Landscape and Rural Production Area in both the draft and final plans. Community submissions failed to sway the Minister in this instance. But given the way the Shoreline development application previously unfolded inspire of the previous SEQ Regional Plan designation it was never likely Minister Trad would listen to the community submissions.
No net loss of koala habitat
Koala habitat (dependent on expert panel reporting but even establishes a goal of “no net loss of koala habitat” which takes has no regard to the abject failure of past and existing planning provisions aimed at koala protection; and establishing a Housing Supply Expert Panel to ensure that housing needs will keep pace with estimated growth, as part of a $5 million investment in land supply monitoring.
Other planning initiatives
A few other initiatives were mentioned including:
- Future urban density
- Infrastructure planning
- SEQ Regional Assessment (to accord with Federal environmental laws)
Q & A about the ShapingSEQ regional plan
The willingness of the DILGP officers to engage with the Redlands community about ShapingSEQ was appreciated. A collection of the questions from meeting attendees which could not be answered on the night are being presented to DILGP for written response.
Redlands2030 will undertake some analysis of ShapingSEQ and will take on board suggestions for another community discussion.
Mick de Brenni to speak at next Redlands2030 meeting
Mick de Brenni, Minister for Housing and Public Works and Minister for Sport, will be the guest speaker at the next Redlands2030 monthly meeting on Thursday 28 September.
Mr de Brenni is the state MP for Springwood which includes Redland City suburbs of Sheldon and Mt Cotton since an electoral redistribution earlier this year.
Monthly meetings of Redlands2030 featuring a diverse range of guest speakers and topics are open to the community, subject to an RSVP.