General News

14 September, 2022

Regional Plan to be reviewed

THE Far North Queensland Regional Plan is set to be updated to reflect the fast growth being experienced in the region.

Regional Plan to be reviewed - feature photo

Deputy Premier and Minister for Planning Steven Miles said much had happened since the Far North Queensland Regional Plan 2009-2031 was implemented.

“Our successful health response to the pandemic and great lifestyle has seen Far North Queensland become an even more attractive place to live, work and raise a family,” he said. 

“Population forecasts from 2009 are outdated. In the 2006 census 122,731 lived in the greater Cairns region (SA4), that grew to 253,748 at the 2021 census.

“Updating the regional plan to reflect the latest forecasts is crucial to provide the basis for identifying improved opportunities for economic development and liveability across the Far North. 

“This informs important levers such as the planning and delivery of infrastructure and services, and connections across council areas.” 

Mr Miles said good planning would deliver more jobs in more industries, better services and protected the Queensland lifestyle.

“Regional plans set the long-term direction for how our regions will grow and respond to change over time,” he said. 

“They advance diverse regional economies and support a broad range of industries, including manufacturing and knowledge-based industries creating new jobs in our regions.

“They also help plan for the right infrastructure to cater for the population growth, including housing supply, schools and roads.” 

Member for Barron River Craig Crawford said the government had listened to local governments, stakeholders and the community. 

“Mayors, councils and councillors, as well as various advocacy bodies in Far North Queensland have requested a review of the FNQ Regional Plan as a priority,” he said.

“We have listened to those requests and are moving forward for the benefit of Far North Queensland communities.

“Through a new Far North Queensland Regional Plan, we will be able to address issues that are specific to the region.

“By involving the councils, community and industry in updating the plan, we will be bringing the Far North closer together for a brighter and more sustainable future.”

Douglas Shire Mayor and FNQ Regional Organisation of Councils chair Michael Kerr also welcomed the review of the plan.

“Our region has gone through enormous change since the current Regional Plan was implemented 13 years ago,” he said.

“Reviewing and updating the Regional Plan is vitally important for the local councils and our communities as we plan for future growth. 

“The Far North is no longer a well kept secret and, as we see more people from throughout Queensland, interstate and overseas wanting to call the region home, we need to make sure we are well prepared to cater for them in terms of infrastructure and employment opportunities.” 

In Far North Queensland, the updated plan will be developed in conjunction with the Far North Queensland Regional Infrastructure Plan, that will be underpinned by a regional economic strategy to consider and prioritise significant infrastructure needs.

Mr Miles said Regional Infrastructure Plans reflect a place-based approach to better align regional infrastructure with regional priorities, recognising the important role infrastructure plays in catalysing regional economic recovery, resilience, growth and liveability.

“This is about getting it right now to ensure that a liveable and prosperous regional future is secured for generations to come,” he added.


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