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Brisbane Region Environment Council
MEMO
March 24th 1999
webink@pasdex.com.au
http://users.pasdex.com.au/~webink

BREC Submission to SEQ2001 Institutional Review


"Operation of (Regional Planning Advisory) committee Section 2.5.5. A regional planning advisory committee may gather information and opinions in the way it considers appropriate, but should operate in an open and participatory way." Integrated Planning Act 1997


Summary

Overall the RFGM suffers from a lack of public engagement and involvement. It is seen as a government fast track club rather than a participatory planning process. The continued assertions that "we did that in 1992" when environmental impacts of decisions are questioned is unhelpful and untrue. There was no consistent detailed water quality, tree clearing or air quality information available in 1992. The social impacts of the RFGM have only been considered in a trivial fashion. The development lobby still denies its responsibilities in the provision of social infrastructure or environmental rehabilitation. The nature conservation and natural resource actions items have hardly progressed in 6 years. Road and rail infrastructure continues to threaten core habitats and linkages. To work on the assumption that because the impacts were lightly touched on in 1992 the RFGM will lead to ESD is somewhat farcical. An overwhelming majority of environmental indicators are trending in the wrong direction. During the life of the RFGM, tree-clearing rates has almost doubled, hardly a ringing endorsement of the sustainability of the RFGM. SEQ is either the second or third most biodiverse region in Queensland and it cannot just be sacrificed to the need for greed or the race for rates. There is moral and legal responsibility to protect the environment and deliver better outcomes for it and society. The prevailing ethos in the RFGM is onward to build out date, when our doughnut effects hits our development front we will have reached the "promised land". This plan seems to be leading to a "Los Angelisation" of SEQ rather than working against this outcome; and moving towards substantial environmental protection. On the positive side, we now have air and water quality strategies and many of the local councils are attempting to address their environmental responsibilities.


Non Government Organisational Capital Summary

Advisory Committee

Output

Committee Exists Yes/No

SEQ Regional Non-Government Sector Committee

Regional Framework Growth Management (SEQ Regional Strategic Plan)

Yes needs expanding

State Of The Environment Advisory Committee

SEQ State of Environment Report

No

SEQ Social Development Committee

SEQ Social Development Strategy

No

SEQ Economic Development Committee

SEQ Economic Development Strategy

?

SEQ4C / SEQ Conservation Strategy Committee

SEQ Regional Conservation Strategy

No

SEQ4C/ SEQ NRM Strategy Committee

SEQ Regional Natural Resources Strategy

Yes

SEQCCCC(SEQ4C)/ BRMG Reference Group

SEQ Regional Waterways Strategy

Yes under review

Regional Landscape Advisory Committee

SEQ Regional Landscape Strategy

Yes

SEQ Air Quality Committee

SEQ Regional Air Quality Strategy

?

SEQ4C/ ICAG

SEQ Regional Water Quality Strategy

Yes ICAG

SEQ4C

SEQ Regional ICM plan

No

SEQ IRTP Reference Group

SEQ Integrated Regional Transport Plan

Yes


Other Recommendations

1. Output from DCILGP Regional forums should be circulated among advisory committees

2.Each Region Of Councils(ROC) needs to have a Non Government Sector Committee

3. We need to facilitate the formation of a SEQ Community Catchment Coordinating Committee (SEQ4C) to help coordination among SEQ ICM groups

4. Conflict Resolution - The Regional Coordination Committee (RCC) has not always convened working groups to help resolve conflicts between stakeholders and the Government. The RCC response to the Regional Non Government Sector Committee (RNGSC) has been lacklustre to say the least.

5. The RNGSC needs to be expanded to reflect a wider range of groups. It should draw people from the sub-regional advisory groups as well as peak organisations.

6. Minutes should be kept for all meetings and dissenting views should be recorded.

7. The Regional Resource Unit(RRU) requires a higher level of resources to better coordinate and support the sub committees and strategy development.

8. The SEQROC, the RRU and Environment Protection Agency (EPA) should cooperate to produce a SEQ State of the Environment Reports. Firstly WESTROC, NORSROC and SOUTHROC should produce subregional State Of the Environment Reports (SOER). They should incorporate SOERs have already been produced for the Gold Coast and Brisbane and the advanced draft of the State SOER being produced by the EPA. The Deptartment of Natural Resources has already produced some State of Rivers Reports and the Brisbane River Management Group is now compiling its 2nd State of the Brisbane River Report. Performance indicators and measurements from regional strategies such as Air Quality Strategy (SEQRAQS), Water Quality Strategy, Intergrated Regional Transport Plan (IRTP) and State Landcover and Tree Survey (SLATS) clearing information could flow on to the SEQ SOER. The performance indicators for planning schemes could also be included in the SOER over time.

9. The RRU in conjunction with SEQROC and RNGSC should establish a process for defining and implementing monitoring of social sustainability indicators


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