Urban Development Institute branch president Daniel Poacher and admin officer Lucy Reeves review the plan.
Urban Development Institute branch president Daniel Poacher and admin officer Lucy Reeves review the plan. Alistair Brightman

Plan vital part of region's future

FRASER Coast businesspeople and residents have been urged to read and comment on what might be the single most important plan for the region.

Hervey Bay Chamber of Commerce president Bernard Whebell said the Draft Wide Bay Burnett Regional Plan would have a significant impact not only on business but the wider community for the next 20 years.

He said people should have their say on the plan which aimed to balance competing interests such as development versus farming land, and had earmarked areas for future population growth.

Urban Development Institute branch president Daniel Poacher said it was probably the single most important piece of planning legislation for the region.

“It sets the framework for all the local authorities to then go on and complete their new planning schemes,” he said.

Mr Poacher said it would provide certainty, particularly for the development industry, and generally the UDIA had a positive view of the document.

But one thing that stood out as a concern was that Bundaberg had been identified as the principal area of the region, he said.

“Which means that when you head to the sections on infrastructure, you’ve got to wonder whether they’re talking about the Bundaberg area and whether Hervey Bay and the Fraser Coast may be left behind in terms of funding for future infrastructure,” Mr Poacher said.

“The plans might be that some of that major infrastructure that needs to accompany the growth that we’re expecting will happen in Bundaberg rather than the Fraser Coast.

“You will never be able to dictate where people want to live and people love coming to the Fraser Coast because of the lifestyle.

“The government may need to recognise that that’s the case and we still need to plan for future infrastructure on the Fraser Coast.”

Public consultation on the plan, released by the State Government earlier this month, closes on December 24.

The plan can be viewed at www.dip.qld.gov.au/widebayburnett.



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