THE RECENTLY-RELEASED South-East Queensland Regional Plan (Shaping SEQ) has failed to properly address agricultural producers’ concerns around longevity and prosperity with the ongoing issues presented by urban encroachment on the region’s rural industries.
Queensland Farmers’ Federation (QFF) President, Stuart Armitage (pictured), said while it was encouraging that Shaping SEQ only made limited changes to the existing urban footprint, it still fell short in delivering the certainty the sector has long sought, and a coherent strategy for agriculture and the rural areas was still missing.
“Shaping SEQ has a very clear agenda in catering for population and other industry growth. Unfortunately, this has come at the expense of a clear and cohesive plan that incorporates and considers the importance of some of the state’s intensive agriculture operating in the peri-urban areas,” said Mr Armitage.
“Agricultural production in SEQ is dominated by commodities that either supply fresh to urban markets or rely on processing and packaging for local and export markets. These peri-urban agricultural industries deliver a holistic community and economic value that is devalued and sometimes unsustainable once forced outside their existing local proximity.
“Population growth should not and does not need to come at the expense of agricultural businesses operating in SEQ. A simplified planning framework is needed to deliver a single classification for agricultural land that protects it from development and delivers certainty for local governments and farmers.
“QFF commends the government for retaining the concept of Rural Precincts, but does call on the government to deliver the guideline that defines the planning process. This will go a long way to allowing the implementation of detailed planning for agricultural development within the region.
“QFF continues to call for a clear government commitment to deliver a sensible outcome from land-use planning that supports rural industries within SEQ. Only then will we realise an outcome that delivers upon the demands of urban population growth while maintaining the integrity and value of SEQ’s agricultural industries.”