Despite ongoing calls from the property industry for a moratorium on the introduction of new State Planning Policies (SPPs) the Queensland Government has released two new SPPs in the last week.
The state’s two peak property bodies; the Property Council of Australia and Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) joined together to reinforce their concern over the number of planning instruments being implemented by the State Government.
Both the Property Council and the UDIA support the intent of the Queensland Coastal Plan (QCP) and Strategic Cropping Land (SCL) SPPs. However they have expressed grave concerns about the consultation process and haste with which they are being implemented.
After raising concerns with the QCP in April 2011, the property industry has worked closely with the State Government and other stakeholders since November to refine the policy through a joint working group, Queensland Executive Director of the Property Council of Australia Kathy Mac Dermott says.
“The policy has come a long way as a result.”
“Through the working group process the QCP and associated risk assessment guidelines were heavily revised, however no consultation or training with local governments has been undertaken on these considerable changes which come into force this Friday (3 February).”
“Without the appropriate training and consultation to assist property owners and councils in determining what is allowable under the policy, we will see significantly different interpretations across the state, eroding confidence in Queensland’s property sector.”
“In addition to this, we are concerned that the QCP places a significant onus on local councils to develop adaptation strategies within the next five years which will then be used to determine whether a development will proceed or not.
“Many councils do not have the knowledge, resources or political will to complete these plans within the mandated 5 year timeframe.”
“Frighteningly it is not the local government that will be punished for this failure, but the property owner who will lose all development rights.”
“In their haste to legislate council’s responsibilities, the State has glossed over their own responsibility in relation to adaptation planning.”
“Action, or inaction by the State in terms of the resilience of their own infrastructure will have a direct impact on the course of action councils and property owners will need to take.”
“At this point the State needs to make clear how it will engage in this local adaptation planning.”
UDIA Queensland President Matthew Wallace said the newly introduced SCL was another example of planning on the run.
“The hasty conclusion of the consultation failed to deal with the many problems identified in the guidelines.
“By rushing these decisions, ignoring the need for detailed guidelines and failing to properly test the impact of such policies, important considerations will slip through the cracks, placing people and property at unnecessary risk.”
“Since the Building Revival Forum in April 2011, the industry has been calling on the State Government to put a halt to the multitude of SPPs being foisted on the property sector.”
“In the lead up to the State election, the Property Council and UDIA are calling on both parties to commit to a moratorium on the introduction of any further planning instruments.”