Regional council fights to keep sustainable growth on Australian Sunshine Coast

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Sunshine Coast Regional Council (SCRC) has vowed to fight a Queensland, Australia state government development plan that would see almost 100,000 more homes built. Mayor Bob Abbot said that it was an example of "top-down" development at the whim of developers.

"We don't know whether ... that long term it's not going to destroy our lifestyle," Mr Abbot said. He also stated that the SCRC preferred a "bottom-up planing process", where the community had a say in what the region should look like in the future.

"We'll apply those values and work out what the population will be, rather than going the other way and just blandly state a population level on a whim, with no justification other than some application that have been brought forward by the development industry."

State treasurer Andrew Fraser told Australian Associated Press that there would need to be proposals made to limit population growth.

"Population growth isn't governed by government policy, and to stop it would be an incredible infringement and an un-Australian infringement on the rights of Australians to have children and move freely about the nation. The challenge is to plan for that population growth that's occurring."

Of the near 100,000 homes to be built, 31,000 would be built in existing urban areas. 61,000 new homes would be built on what is being referred to as "greenfield sites".

"The community wants us to toughen up and stick to our guns," councillor Ted Hungerford said. "If the minister is going to come in over the top of us that's up to him."