MPs silent over Halls Creek plans
THE Sunshine Coast's five LNP Cabinet ministers and the Speaker have failed to respond to a series of questions about State Government demands placed on council's new regional planning scheme.
Planning Minister Jeff Seeney signed off on the document a fortnight ago but required council to include for future urban investigation a 1400ha parcel of land known as Halls Creek south of Caloundra South.
Premier Campbell Newman who, before his election to parliament, warned of the dangers of creating a 400km continuous urban development strip, has failed to respond to questions about his minister's decision.
Yesterday all seven Sunshine Coast MPs were asked where they stood on the issue.
Only Nicklin Independent Peter Wellington responded, declaring support for both the inter-urban break and council's planning intent.
Mr Wellington also has placed the latest of many questions on notice in parliament about infrastructure provision for the 50,000 population Caloundra South
development just north of the Halls Creek land parcel.
Both are owned by the developer Stockland.
Council has been in negotiation with the State Government and the developer for the past two years about an infrastructure shortfall it estimates at $500 million.
"With reference to the Caloundra South proposed development - what arrangements have been made to make sure that ratepayers do not subsidise the cost of this development?'' Mr Wellington has asked the Deputy Premier.
Before the 2012 state election Coast LNP candidates pledged to protect the inter-urban break.
Yesterday not one answered any of the following three questions:
1. Do you support the need for an inter-urban break separating the Sunshine Coast and urban development to the south?
2. Do you support the Sunshine Coast Council's contention that the 1400ha "Caloundra South (Halls Creek) SEQ Regional Plan Identified Growth Area is not developed and is not subject to further planning"?
3. If you do not support he council's intent, can you explain why Halls Creek should be considered for future urban development and how that would maintain an inter-urban break beyond some roadside visual amenity?
Only the electoral offices of Mark McArdle (Caloundra) and Andrew Powell (Glass House) acknowledged receipt of the questions, promising to endeavour to respond.
None was forthcoming.
Last year the Coast's highly paid Cabinet ministers committed to work with the council in a Sunshine Coast First Alliance to achieve real outcomes for the region.
They posed in rugby league jumpers with the mayor and councillors to drive home a teamwork theme.