Deputy Premier, Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning
The Honourable Jeff Seeney

Boundaries for new Darling Downs and Central Qld regional plans revealed

The first step towards new Statutory Regional Plans for the growing Darling Downs and Central Queensland regions have been unveiled by the State Government.

Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Jeff Seeney today released maps that define the regions to which the Statutory Regional Plans will apply.

“This is another commitment this government promised would be delivered within the first 100 days,” Mr Seeney said.

“These regional plans will provide certainty to communities and businesses by clearly identifying land uses where previously there had been conflict between the resource industry and agricultural sector.”

Mr Seeney said the newly-drawn boundaries were not just lines on a map and signified the first major step in determining government’s view of each region.

“These new designations mean the State and local governments can plan more effectively for the Darling Downs and Central Queensland communities,” Mr Seeney said.

“We are committed to developing regional plans that foster economic opportunities, address land use conflicts and build our communities.

“Other issues they will deal with include: urban expansion, the timing and sequencing of infrastructure, enhancing tourism opportunities and the management of environmental impacts.

“The resulting plans will provide certainty about the State’s priorities and will guide councils and communities when it comes to getting the balance right between economic opportunities, the impacts of development on the environment and improving our way of life.

“These plans will ultimately help inform local government’s planning schemes.”

The regional plans will be developed in collaboration with local governments, key industry groups and wider community. Draft plans are expected to be released in early 2013.

Mr Seeney added that he would put a regional planning committee in place f or each designated region to advise on the content of the regional plans.

“Local governments will be represented by their Mayors and will be responsible for championing the views of their local community during the process. Industry stakeholders will also have a voice at the table.”

The Darling Downs region encompasses:
• Toowoomba Regional Council
• Southern Downs Regional Council
• Goondiwindi Regional Council
• Western Downs Regional Council
• Maranoa Regional Council, and
• Balonne Shire Council

The Central Queensland region takes in:
• Banana Shire Council
• Central Highlands Regional Council
• Gladstone Regional Council
• Rockhampton Regional Council, and
• Woorabinda Aboriginal Shire Council

BACKGROUND

Darling Downs
The Darling Downs region has a total area of around 170,000km2 which is 9.8 per cent of the total area of the state. As of 30 June 2011, the estimated resident population of the region was 262,840 people or 5.7 per cent of the state’s population. The population increased by 3,568 people between 30 June 2010 and 2011. Between 30 June 2010 and 2011, the region recorded a population growth rate of 1.4 per cent. (Queensland’s growth rate was 1.7 per cent).

Central Queensland
The Central Queensland region has a total area of around 114,000km2 which is about 6.6 per cent of the total area of the state. As of 30 June 2011, the estimated resident population of the region was 227,451 people, or five per cent of the state’s population. The population increased by 4,352 people between 30 June 2010 and 2011. Between 30 June 2010 and 2011, the region recorded a population growth rate of two per cent.

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