The Mareeba Shire council has had its hands tied after the Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick announced last month that the State Government was issuing a temporary local planning instrument (TLPI)
It’s understood that under the TLPI it will be “next to impossible to get a subdivision under 60 hectares”
According to Minister Dick “This TLPI will ensure future rural subdivisions comply with the longstanding Far North Queensland Regional Plan,”
“We’ve seen some fragmented subdivisions in rural zones in Mareeba Shire which, if they continued, could risk the viability of the agricultural industry in the region.”
The TLPI comes after the Kur-World development was knocked back by the Department of Transport and Main Roads in Brisbane who said they could not support the project, which could employ up to 1000 people, because “of the added volumes of traffic on the busy range road.”
The TLPI will apply for up to two years and means that for any rural subdivisions less than 60 hectares the application will go out for public consultation.
Some locals are not happy about the TLPI with Mareeba Shire Council Mayor Tom Gilmore saying it’s less to do with planning and more to do with the Kuranda Range “This is a convenient way for the Queensland Government to avoid upgrading the Kuranda Range Road. They knocked the KUR-World development on the head because they knew the range wouldn’t cope with the extra traffic,” he said
“Instead of planning for the future and having plans to expand and improve the Kuranda Range Road, they have decided to choke sensible development, stagnating growth not only on the Tablelands but the entire gulf region.”
It’s believed that the TLPI was also issued with no prior consultation to the council before being made aware of the TLPI “The tick was given on the Friday to the TLPI and we were notified on the following Monday,” Mayor Gilmore said.
The member for Cook Cynthia Lui has not had a meeting with the MSC since the TLPI was issued but she told the Express “I support any actions that protect agricultural land and jobs in our region“
In a written statement given to the Express from the Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning
Primary industry, including agriculture, is the largest employer in Mareeba Shire.
The TLPI will help preserve agricultural productivity and jobs across the region, ensuring future rural subdivisions comply with the Far North Queensland Regional Plan 2009-2031 and the intent of the rural zone within Mareeba Shire Council Planning Scheme, both of which were subject to extensive public consultation.
The TLPI provides council with a two-year period to make necessary changes to its planning scheme.
When the scheme is amended, the community will be consulted on the long-term needs relating to the growth and protection of rural zoned land.
The steps to develop rural land in Mareeba Shire remain unchanged, with landowners needing to seek development approval from council.
Mareeba Shire Council Mayor Tom Gilmore says “Council is considering an appeal against the decision.”