Concerns voiced about Queensland coastal plan

by Ray Clancy on April 14, 2011

in Property in Australia

Queensland coastal plan scored

The new Queensland Coastal Plan that shows areas projected to be at risk between now and 2100 by rising sea levels and cyclones has been criticised by the Property Council of Australia.

According to Queensland Executive Director of the Property Council of Australia Kathy MacDermott, the Plan introduces major uncertainty and raises a raft of questions.

‘The coastal plan raises serious issues around property values, future land use and development rights along with existing and future state and local government infrastructure. Until there is certainty around these issues, the Plan further erodes investor confidence and diminishes Queensland’s competitiveness,’ she said.

The Queensland Government has prepared coastal hazard area maps showing areas projected to be at risk up to the year 2100. These maps factor in climate change impacts, including sea level rise of 80 centimetres and a 10% increase in the maximum potential intensity of cyclones.

‘We understand that approximately 100,000 properties in Queensland are located within the areas identified as high hazard, with an additional 60,000 properties located in medium hazard areas. The 160,000 properties at risk equate to 10% of all Queensland properties,’ said MacDermott.

‘The Queensland Government has sent a strong message that settlement in high hazard zones should be avoided,’ she added.

Councils will have up to five years to draw up adaptation plans for development in at risk areas, and the Queensland Government is working with the Local Government Association Queensland on guidelines.

‘We do not expect any immediate prohibition of development in existing urban areas within identified hazard zones. However, additional costs for development projects are to be expected as yet unknown mitigation measures will have to be negotiated with Councils, with project timelines also affected,’ MacDermott explained.

‘This is yet another State Planning Policy (SPP) that undermines the South East Queensland Regional Plan, and which could also lead to up to five years of uncertainty in Government mapped hazard zones,’ she added.

As part of its 2011 Advocacy Agenda, the Property Council has called for a moratorium on SPPs for the next three years. It is currently undertaking a detailed review of the Queensland Coastal Plan and its implications for the property industry in Queensland.

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