FORWARD THINKING: As part of the new regional plan, local councils and communities will work together to address areas such as the housing supply and infrastructure requirements. Picture: Michael Nolan
FORWARD THINKING: As part of the new regional plan, local councils and communities will work together to address areas such as the housing supply and infrastructure requirements. Picture: Michael Nolan

Region under review to establish economic stability

GREATER economic opportunities and the creation of more jobs are to be established in a new regional plan for the Wide Bay Burnett region.

Minister for Planning Cameron Dick said the strategic planning documents would bring together councils and communities in the area to address matters such as housing supply, economic development, industrial, environment, transport and infrastructure requirements.

“Regional plans are subject to review at periodic intervals, to ensure they remain relevant and allow regions to capitalise on and respond to new and emerging opportunities and challenges,” Mr Dick said.

“As part of the regional planning process, the Palaszczuk Government has recently implemented a new South East Queensland Regional Plan and has also progressed the first-ever regional plan for North Queensland.

“The current regional plan for the Wide Bay Burnett area, which comprises the Fraser Coast, North Burnett and South Burnett council areas, Bundaberg, Gympie and Cherbourg was released in 2011.

“It is the next region to undergo a review, given the significant change in the area,” he said.

Mr Dick said the Wide Bay Burnett region was growing, with an additional 67,200 people expected to be living in the region by 2041.

He said this would require an additional 34,100 new dwellings to be built and more than 24,000 new jobs to be created.

“The new plan will have a tailored economic strategy which aligns land use, infrastructure and industry development to help support the expected growth in this region.

“The economic strategy will identify priorities that build upon the region’s competitive advantages in aviation, advanced manufacturing and aquaculture and tourism, while also addressing any possible barriers to economic growth.

“With a $20 billion-dollar manufacturing sector in Queensland, the Wide Bay region is well positioned to leverage off this and create more jobs into the future.

He said the plan would include the management of growth in established regional centres like Kingaroy, Gayndah, Gympie and Hervey Bay.

It would also identify key infrastructure and servicing needs for each local government area as well as the protection of the natural environment and how to leverage on tourism opportunities.

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