Mareeba Shire Mayor Tom Gilmore will write to Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning, The Hon. Cameron Dick, to express Council’s dissatisfaction with his decision to effectively stifle rural development in the Shire.
In December last year, the State Government imposed a Temporary Local Planning Instrument (TLPI) for the Mareeba Shire, thereby making it impossible to subdivide land to lots less than 60 hectares in a Rural zone.
The TLPI commenced in December last year and will remain in effect for a period of two years or until it is repealed.
Labelling the decision as short-sighted and offensive, Mayor Tom Gilmore will oppose the new conditions and ask the TLPI to be revoked. “The Minister’s decision effectively denies further sensible settlement in our rural areas,” Cr Gilmore said.
“I question the Minister’s Departmental advice and the Minister’s motivation behind the decision.”
“Stifling development is a convenient way for the Queensland Government to avoid upgrading the Kuranda Range Road rather than addressing the hard issues,” he said.
“Instead of planning for the future and having plans to expand and improve the Kuranda Range Road, the Queensland Government has decided to choke sensible development – stagnating growth not only on the Tablelands but the entire Gulf region.”
Councillor Gilmore said Council dismisses the statement of reason from the State, which indicates the TLPI was imposed to protect agricultural land.
“The introduction of the TLPI will have a very negative impact on a number of land owners while not actually protecting and maintaining land used for agricultural purposes,” Cr Gilmore said.
The statement of reasons cited five applications which all had sound planning reasoning for approval and did not impact on agricultural land.
“Council has been very careful in ensuring that subdivisions in rural areas did not impact agricultural land and on many occasions, potential applicants have been discouraged from pursuing the application on the grounds of impact on the viability of good agricultural land.”
“Where the advice has been ignored and an application has been lodged, these have been refused by Council.
“The Minister has ignored the geography and topography as well as historic subdivision patterns,” Cr Gilmore concluded.