Redland City leads the charge for clearer planning direction across Queensland

Councils from across Queensland have backed a call from Redland City Mayor Karen Williams for a clearer approach to planning for the future.

Mayor Williams received unanimous support for her motion to this year’s annual LGAQ conference in Toowoomba, calling for the State Government to reconsider performance-based planning.

“For planning policy to succeed the community and investors need to have confidence in it and be able to understand it; and this isn’t always the case for the current performance-based model,” she said.

“While legislation dictates that councils must adhere to State Government legislation, nothing says we have to sit idly witnessing community angst and frustration.  I am buoyed by the support I received at this year’s conference from Councils across the state.

“Following the motion the LGAQ will now write to the State Government on behalf of all Queensland councils and ask them to look for ways to make planning clearer for the community.”

Cr Williams said the source of much of the confusion regarding planning in Queensland was because the community was never taken on the journey of change when the State Government introduced the Integrated Planning Act in 1997, which embraced performance planning.

“The change was designed to create innovation in planning, which in theory is great; but for many it has actually become more about interpretation rather than innovation,” she said.

“Currently, if an applicant can show the final outcome fits with the general intent of the codes in the plan they can ultimately win approval if not in council then often in the planning and environment court.”

Cr Williams said it was obvious the current system was difficult for people to understand.

“As I walk around the city and talk to residents it is obvious the legislated State Government approach to planning is creating confusion and so hopefully yesterday’s decision will start the process of clearing up this confusion,” she said.

“Similar motions have been before the LGAQ before and many other councils are facing the same issue as we are in the Redlands so it is clear a state-wide approach is needed.

“Council has learnt a great deal from the challenges of the current planning scheme and we are trying to improve the outcomes and simplify the content in the drafting of the new City Plan which we are currently encouraging residents to provide their feedback on.”