MPs defy council view on Halls Creek removal

THE Sunshine Coast's six state LNP Members of Parliament were told at least twice during the creation of the region's planning scheme that the community wanted Halls Creek removed as a potential urban greenfield development.

The Sunshine Coast Council confirmed that its position had been well documented for some time and had been raised during a meeting of Sunshine Coast First, an alliance formed last year between council and the region's State MPs.

Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney told council to alter its planning document so that the 1400ha site south of Caloundra South was retained for potential future urban development.

"Council's position on Halls Creek has been well known and documented for some time," a spokesman said.

"All local members were briefed on the planning scheme at least twice during the plan-making process."

MPs who responded yesterday to questions put by the Daily expressed support for an inter-urban break.

But there was also defence of the government decision to retain Halls Creek as an investigation area for future development.

Environmentalists argue that quarantining Halls Creek from development should be non-negotiable because of the certain impact on Pumicestone Passage which is an extremely slow-flushing system.

Member for Glass House Andrew Powell said he was a strident supporter of the inter-urban break.

Asked whether he supported the Sunshine Coast Council's contention that the 1400ha Caloundra South (Halls Creek) land parcel not be considered for future urban development investigation he was less direct.

"I support the Sunshine Coast Council holding that view and expressing it as the State Government assesses whether there is any potential for development in that area in the future," Mr Powell said.

"At the moment there is no urban development in that area, and any claims about what any potential development could look like in the future are grossly premature."

Caloundra MP Mark McArdle said the State Government was not asking for the Caloundra South area to be developed.

"We are simply providing the means by which an assessment can be made," he said.

"A region needs lungs to breathe and an economy to grow, so let's see all the work and assessment completed before any decisions are made."

Member for Maroochydore Fiona Simpson supported the need for the inter-urban break and consideration of the region's environment.

"As this area in question is in my colleague's electorate, I respect his advocacy on ensuring the right outcome," she said.

Jarrod Bleijie (Kawana), Steve Dickson (Buderim) and Glen Elmes (Noosa) failed to respond.


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