7th March 1997

City Eats South East Queensland

 Conservationists predict that urban areas will eat up all of South East Queensland because of poor planning by the state and local governments.

"Urban spread is the number one cause of environmental destruction in the region. Voters should reject councils who fail to control inappropriate and unsustainable urban spread" said Michael Petter Convenor of the Brisbane Region Environment Centre.

Local governments can use regional agreements, town plans, strategic plans and local laws to stop inappropriate development and to protect the environment.

However, recent comments by the State Planning Minister about SEQ2001 regional plan have alarmed conservationists.

"The Minister has torn up the regional framework for growth management and seeks to rely on market forces to sensibly develop South East Queensland. Market forces, in the absence of prudent planning controls, won't deliver a sensible, equitable or desirable outcome" he continued

"While other industries that can cause environmental harm are regulated under the Environment Protection Act, the housing industry has escaped. Now they seemed to be exempt form any sort of regional planning controls" he said.

"It appears that the public must rely on the other partners in the SEQ2001 process, local governments, to provide some protection and planning controls" he said.

"Voters need to ensure that our environment and quality of life aren't sacrificed to market forces" he concluded.