Council and government may lock horns over planning issue

A SHOWDOWN is looming with the State Government after Sunshine Coast Council yesterday deferred adoption of its new planning scheme.

The council has sought an urgent meeting with Planning Minister Jeff Seeney, who has insisted that a 1400ha land parcel south of Caloundra South be included for potential urban development.

Mayor Mark Jamieson said council undertook the most comprehensive community consultation ever seen in the region to develop the planning scheme.

The community had made it clear it wanted no development at Halls Creek.

The Coast's peak environment group applauded the council's stand.

Sunshine Coast Environment Council president Keryn Jones said the big issue was Pumicestone Passage, internationally recognised for its high ecological values and as a hatchery for both fish and prawns.

She said developers of the 50,000 population Caloundra South were already desperately trying to find ways to meet the condition that urban run-off cause no worsening effect to water quality in the Passage.

Further development to the south would have no hope of meeting those objectives, Ms Jones said.

She said Pumicestone Passage was an extremely slow flushing system, meaning it was highly vulnerable to nutrient build-up.

Cr Jamieson said the council wanted to meet with Mr Seeney to discuss the implications of the Halls Creek condition he had imposed.

"Council is very conscious of the importance of getting the new planning scheme approved as it will provide certainty for investment, and add further momentum to our economy," he said.

"Council undertook the most comprehensive community consultation ever seen in this region to develop the scheme.

"During those discussions the Sunshine Coast community made it clear it doesn't want any urban development at Halls Creek.

"There is a very strong need to protect the Sunshine Coast-Moreton Bay regional inter-urban break as an important feature for south-east Queensland.

"The more appropriate area for development opportunities lies between Beerwah and Caloundra South.

"The new planning scheme is years in the making, and will have flow-on effects for generations to come - it's important we get it right."

The decision to defer the adoption of the new Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme was made at a Special Meeting of Council.

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