News

Councils to be given protection to stop flood development

CLEAN UP: Paul Sterling joined the crowds that showed up for the Bargara Beach cleanup. Photo: Scottie Simmonds / NewsMail
CLEAN UP: Paul Sterling joined the crowds that showed up for the Bargara Beach cleanup. Photo: Scottie Simmonds / NewsMail Scottie Simmonds

EXCLUSIVE: The state government has finally signalled it will change planning laws to protect councils that alter zonings to better reflect flood risk.

Assistant Minister for Planning Reform Ian Walker said the protection of Queenslanders was paramount and the state had to canvas possible legislative improvements.

The state government would begin consulting with industry and local government to ensure legal protection for councils from inappropriate development on flood-prone land.

The moves comes after Local Government Minister David Crisafulli and Premier Campbell Newman have spent the past two weeks ignoring questions from the Sunshine Coast Daily on the subject and following calls from the Local Government Association of Queensland and Nicklin independent MP Peter Wellington for it to act.

Sunshine Coast Council planning portfolio head Russell Green said the policy shift would immediately be factored in to its consideration of submissions to the draft regional planning scheme.

Those discussions were now into their third day and would continue with a series of all-day meetings through to April.

"Any reforms to SPA's injurious affection provisions, local government will support if changes deliver good planning outcomes,'' he said.

"It will depend on the implementation."

Mr Walker said section 733 of NSW's Local Government Act 1993 had successfully addressed the issue and may be an option for Queensland. Compensation arising from planning scheme changes has been in place in Queensland since the Local Government Act 1936, with ability for a person to seek redress from certain adverse effects to a person's development rights.

Local Government Association CEO Greg Hallam said injurious affection laws were the elephant in the room in relation to flood protection and had to be dealt with.

"This would be the best decision of this government without a shadow of a doubt. It would be an absolute credit to him and the government and will have our support.''

Mr Walker said the tragic deaths and loss of homes and businesses in the 2010-11 and 2013 floods highlighted that there is no room for complacency for governments on the issue.

"Queensland is the only state that allows compensation arising from planning scheme changes based on solid planning principles, especially in relation to flooding,'' he said.

"Developers who want the best for communities should work closely with the state and local government to find a way forward on best-practice planning schemes that address flooding head on.

"Providing certainty for councils in this all-important area of planning is our goal."

Mr Walker said considering a legislative change to the compensation provisions of the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 was a key recommendation from the Flood Commission of Inquiry - recommendation 4.1(b).

Earlier this week the LGAQ welcomed the call by Mr Wellington for councils to be able to rezone or down-zone land proven to be vulnerable to flooding - without fear of having to give big compensation payouts to developers.

Mr Hallam said Mr Wellington was "spot on" when he told State Parliament this week that the antiquated law of "injurious affection" needed to be abolished.

He said Queensland was the only state to retain injurious affection - which meant that if councils moved to protect communities from natural disasters by down-zoning land, they are left open to legal challenge through claims for compensation, and the accompanying huge costs of litigating such claims.

THE QUESTIONS WE ASKED ON FEBRUARY 1

1. Queensland has legacy zonings that allow development in now well-established hazard prone areas. Will the Minister consider altering legislation to protect local authorities that correct planning schemes to better reflect that risk?

2. The Insurance Council of Australia submission to the Senate Standing Committees on Environment and Communications - Recent Trends in and Preparedness for Extreme Weather Events - states that "it is decision making regarding the built environment that is driving economic losses by choosing to accept the construction of damage-prone property in hazard-prone areas".

Will the Minister consider the government using call in powers to stop approvals that allow construction in those areas?

3. Will the review of the SEQ Regional Plan consider the need to reduce the cost of extreme weather events by limiting or stopping increases to population density in areas at risk of flooding or sea water inundation?

Topics:  bundaberg, flood 2013, oswald, planning, queensland


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Woolworths to sack 500 staff, close at least 17 stores

This is despite the supermarket earning $2.5 billion for the year.

Caboolture Club Tavern’s Tupperware party supports breast cancer

CHARITY DINNER: Caboolture Club Tavern manager Jason Warner with the Tupperware lucky door prize. Photo Kyle Zenchyson / Caboolture News

Caboolture Club Tavern are having a Tupperware Party this weekend.

RACQ says good riddance to Wicked rubbish

TOO MUCH: A Wicked Van spotted in Byron Main Beach car park.

RACQ welcome State Government action on offensive Wicked Campers

Latest deals and offers

Hazard reduction burn planned for Ningi

People in Ningi, Godwin Beach, Sandstone Point, Toorbul and Beachmere may notice smoke in the vicinity of the burn on Tuesday July 26.

Woolworths to sack 500 staff, close at least 17 stores

This is despite the supermarket earning $2.5 billion for the year.

Caboolture Club Tavern’s Tupperware party supports breast cancer

CHARITY DINNER: Caboolture Club Tavern manager Jason Warner with the Tupperware lucky door prize. Photo Kyle Zenchyson / Caboolture News

Caboolture Club Tavern are having a Tupperware Party this weekend.

RACQ says good riddance to Wicked rubbish

TOO MUCH: A Wicked Van spotted in Byron Main Beach car park.

RACQ welcome State Government action on offensive Wicked Campers

Girl, 13, missing from train station near Deception Bay

A 13-year-old girl has gone missing from Deception Bay.

Driver in hospital after Beerburrum rollover

Emergency services have been called to a crash in the northbound lanes of the Bruce Hwy at Tanawha.

The driver was taken to Caboolture Hospital

Robbie Williams and Ayda Field to expand family?

Robbie Williams and Ayda Field want more children.

Licking incident bars Ariana from performing at White House

Ariana Grande has been blocked from performing at the White House

Taylor Swift's ex throws support behind Kanye West

Calvin Harris shares a sing-along with Kanye West

Michael Jackson's jailed doctor wants his license back

Conrad Murray wants his medical licence back.

Caboolture Club Tavern’s Tupperware party supports breast cancer

CHARITY DINNER: Caboolture Club Tavern manager Jason Warner with the Tupperware lucky door prize. Photo Kyle Zenchyson / Caboolture News

Caboolture Club Tavern are having a Tupperware Party this weekend.

Pokemon Go: "Trading" on the horizon as game evolves

No Caption

Pokemon GO players will soon be able to trade with other trainers

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

72-year-old Coast developer set to start new project

GREEN LIGHT: The Cosmopolitan has been approved for development at Cotton Tree.

Meet the Canberran set to deliver another chapter for Coast suburb

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

The climb is slow but property on the way up

Michael Matusik, director of Matusik Property Insights.Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin

The improvement would be mild when compared to past cycles