A new 20-year plan was released today that will provide a blueprint to guide the Draft Wide Bay Burnett region's social and economic development.
Treasurer and Regional Planning Minister for the Wide Bay Burnett Andrew Fraser said the plan would strike the right balance between managing population growth and maintaining the lifestyle that residents in the region currently enjoyed.
"Queensland is the growth state and with more than half of our population residing outside of the capital it is important that we have a statutory framework in place like the Wide Bay Burnett Regional Plan to guide sustainable growth," Mr Fraser said.
"The current Wide Bay Burnett population of 287,000 is expected to climb to 433,500 by 2031, making it the second largest growing region in Queensland.
"However, slow growth in one area compared to rapid growth in neighbouring areas presents very different sets of challenges as well as opportunities.
"For example the Fraser Coast is predicted to need an additional 21,900 dwellings whereas the South Burnett is expected to need another 5,000.
"This only goes to show the importance of good planning now.
Mr Fraser said the plan provided a coordinated approach to planning, infrastructure and services to manage the differing growth levels across the region.
"Existing regional centres and towns will be the main focus for accommodating the expected growth in the region," Mr Fraser said.
"In particular, Bundaberg, Maryborough, Hervey Bay and Gympie will attract the vast majority of the region's growth.
"Growth in these towns will be catered for through development of new residential development and infill development.
"The Kalkie/Ashfield area, the Nikenbah area and St Helens and the Victory Heights and East Deep Creeks areas have also been identified as development areas.
"This'll also allow for vital rural production lands and environ mentally sensitive areas to be protected."
Mr Fraser said the draft WBBRP had been developed with input from the Regional Planning Committee (RPC), comprising representatives of local governments and state agencies and local interest groups.
"We now want to hear what the community has to say about the draft plan, so a number of question and answer sessions will be held across the region until the consultation period ends on 24 December 2010," Mr Fraser said.
"The final plan will be released once all submissions have been considered and appropriate amendments made. It is anticipated this will happen in the first held of 2011.
The Draft Wide Bay Burnett Regional Plan is part of the Queensland Government's wider regional planning program, led by Growth Management Queensland.
Public consultation on the Draft Wide Bay Burnett Regional Plan
closes on 24 December 2010.
It can be viewed at www.dip.qld.gov.au/widebayburnett
Information sessions will be held at:
Gympie Wednesday 6 October 2010, 6-7pm
Gympie Civic Centre, 33 Mellor Street
Kingaroy Wednesday 6 October 2010, 6-7pm
Kingaroy Town Hall (Reception Room), 41 Glendon Street
Murgon Thursday 7 October 2010, 6-7pm
Murgon Town Hall (Supper Room), 87 Gore Street
Bundaberg Tuesday 12 October 2010, 6-7pm
Bundaberg Civic Centre, 190 Bourbong Street
Tin Can Bay Tuesday 12 October 2010, 6-7pm
Tin Can Bay Country Club, Kidd Straight
Urangan Wednesday 13 October 2010, 6-7pm
Kondari Hotel (Whale Room), 49-63 Elizabeth Street
Maryborough Thursday 14 October 2010, 6-7pm
Maryborough City Hall, 388 Kent Street
Gin Gin Monday 18 October 2010, 6-7pm
RSL Hall, 37 Milden Street
Monto Tuesday 19 October 2010, 6-7pm
Monto Community Hall, 51 Newton Street
Gayndah Tuesday 26 October 2010, 6-7pm
Gayndah Community Hall, 34-36 Capper Street
Childers Thursday 28 October 2010, 6-7pm
Childers Cultural Centre, 49 Churchill Street
Gympie Civic Centre, Gympie
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