Brisbane Region Environment Council

18 September 1997

New Planning Bill a FAST TRACK to uncertainty

The Draft Integrated Planning Act (IPA) will lead to massive uncertainty by the public. The draft legislation will make it impossible for a local council to prohibit anything. It fails to specify any minimum standards for things such as open space and it will remove some of the public rights to object to developments.

 The IPA will leave it to local councils alone to determine how the environment and communities are protected from inappropriate development. While some Councils might be able to do this properly, in the absence of any additional money for training and ecological assessments, most Councils wont be able to do this .

 "This Bill represents a leap of faith that if councils and developers are left alone we will end up with the right result for the environment and society. I think the last 20 years in Queensland have disproved that theory. This Bill will only offer certainty for the developers not for the environment or the community" said Michael Petter Coordinator for the Brisbane Region Environment Centre and QCC spokesperson.

"The Bill tears apart current international understanding about ESD, Impact assessment processes and fails to bring government developments into line will other developments. It exempts vegetation clearing, mining, forestry, transport and agriculture among others, from any scrutiny or regulation by town plans." he continued

 "This is a dogs breakfast of a Bill being force fed to the public by ambitious Public servants and an obviously delighted development fraternity. The public has only had four weeks to read, understand and respond to this radical departure from current planning systems." he said

 "The public should contact their State and Local members and demand that the Bill not be tabled before there is adequate and comprehensive public consultation on this Bill and its radical implications. It shows how the relatively simple idea of running assessments together, to save time, can be subverted to produce a system totally skewed in favour of big business and government." he concluded