Darling Downs planning process starts

The Newman Government today held the first meeting of a committee that will guide the preparation of the Darling Downs Regional Plan.

Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Jeff Seeney said the plans provided by the LNP at the election would help resolve conflict between the agriculture and the resource sectors.

“The Darling Downs Regional Planning Committee creates an accessible forum to address community issues and interests,” Mr Seeney said.

“This committee will oversee the regional planning process and increase understanding within the community of the Darling Downs Regional Plan.

“Communities will be represented by their mayors who will be responsible for presenting the views of their local regions during the process. Industry representatives will also have a voice at the table.

“The committee will make sure the views of both local and wider groups are considered in its content.”

Ther e will be widespread community consultation throughout the process of developing the regional plans and a number of opportunities for community members to have input.

Mr Seeney said including land use mapping in the statutory regional plan would help resolve conflict between landholders and the agricultural and resources sectors.

“The Darling Downs region has some of Queensland’s most diverse agricultural assets and an abundance of coal, natural gas and other resource deposits,” he said.

“This plan will ensure the region grows in a managed and sustainable way and allow us to deal with urban expansion, the timing and sequencing of infrastructure, enhancing tourism opportunities and the management of environmental impacts.”

Mr Seeney said the committee was chosen to increase transparency of the regional plan development process, following an expressions of interest process for community and industry representatives.

He said it would repr esent a diversity of regional viewpoints and interests during the preparation of the Darling Downs Regional Plan.

The committee of 21 members comprising mayors, sitting members and community and industry representatives will meet throughout the regional plan preparation process, which is expected to be finalised in August 2013.

The draft plan should then be released in early 2013 for formal submissions.

The first Central Queensland Regional Planning committee is scheduled to meet on 27 July in Emerald.

Members of the Darling Downs Regional Planning Committee:

Councillor Paul Antonio – Mayor of Toowoomba Regional Council
Councillor Peter Blundell – Mayor of Southern Downs Regional Council
Councillor Raymond Brown – Mayor of Western Downs Regional Council
Councillor Robert Loughnan – Mayor of Maranoa Regional Council
Councillor Graeme Scheu – Mayor of Goondiwindi Regional Council
Councillor Donna Stewart – Mayor of Ba lonne Shire Council

Mrs Deb Frecklington MP – Member for Nanango
Mr Howard Hobbs MP – Member for Warrego
Mr Ray Hopper MP – Member for Condamine
The Honourable John McVeigh MP – Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and Member for Toowoomba South
The Honourable Lawrence Springborg MP – Minister for Health and Member for Southern Downs
Mr Trevor Watts MP – Member for Toowoomba North

Mr Brian Hewitt – Chief Executive Officer, Regional Development Australia, Darling Downs and South West, Toowoomba
Mr Dallas Hunter – Member, Urban Development Institute of Australia, Toowoomba Branch, Toowoomba
Mr Paul Ryan – Principal, St Mary’s Parish Primary School, Goondiwindi
Mr Barry Sheehan – Executive Director, Centacare Toowoomba, Toowoomba
Mr Andrew Barger – Director, Resource and Environment Policy, Queensland Resources Council, Brisbane
Mr Gary Brady – Director, Office and External Relations, University of Southern Que ensland, Toowoomba
Mr Geoff Penton – Chief Executive Officer, Queensland Murray Darling Committee, Toowoomba
Ms Natalie Foster – Senior Manager, Wolff Group, Toowoomba
Mr Stewart Armitage – Councillor, Queensland Farmers Federation, Brisbane

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