Agenda 21 rears its ugly head in LNP Draft Plan

By Charlie McKillop: ABC and staff writers

March 7, 2013

A Queensland council and the Liberal National Government have been sent back to the drawing board on a new planning scheme after it was overwhelmingly rejected by residents.

A fiery public meeting in the largely rural shire of the Atherton Tableland in Far North Queensland has heard the unpopular draft plan is a product of planning laws introduced by the previous Labor State Government.

The Tableland Regional Council is only the fifth council in Queensland to introduce a new town plan under the regime.

Speaking to journalists after the meeting Mayor Rosa Lee Long, a former One Nation State Parliamentarian, slammed the Liberal Government for not cutting red and green tape which has all but finished economically sustainable farming and dairying in the once prosperous shire.

It has also prompted outrage from rural landholders who say relatively minor development applications could invoke a range of state planning codes on issues such as flooding, bushfires, biodiversity and heritage values.

State Liberal Party MP Michael Trout, a member of the current government, says the plan is unworkable and laws must be changed to protect the property rights of rural landholders.

“This planning regime is draconian,” he said.

“This will affect every rural property, whether it’s five acres or 500 acres, so I want to see that we have a planning system that does work, that you can get on with your life, that you’re not getting overruled by a bureaucrat every five minutes.”

Mayor Lee Long agrees, but says the controversial plan has been foisted onto the community by state legislation.

“These are laws that are in place. Even though we inherited them from the previous Labor government, this new government has not changed those laws.

“The planning has been done in an office in Brisbane. So we’d like to toss that out. People generally, you can see by the meeting today, don’t want a bar of it.”

Cr Lee Long says there are ramifications for all local areas in Queensland which are yet to embark on a new planning scheme.

Cairns News advises all ratepayers in receipt of a Draft Plan to write to the State Government Minister for Local Government, David Crisafulli at 

 telling him: “I do not consent to any of the overlays attached to the Draft Plan and demand they be removed. Furthermore I demand the Draft Plan 2031 also be repealed and restore power for councils to prepare their own planning schemes without any input from the State Government.”