By David Nicholls, Partner;James Ireland, Partner;Sarah
A five-year vision for the Flinders-Karawatha corridor
The Queensland Government has today announced a five-year vision
to protect the Flinders-Karawatha corridor, which could have
significant legal consequences for landholders in the area.
Here, partner David Nicholls and associate Olivia Williamson
outline the five-year vision and explain how it could affect
landowners and developers in the Flinders-Karawatha area.
Consultation on the planning protection provisions - that is,
the proposed trigger provisions of the South East Queensland
Regional Plan - starts today and will run until mid-December
Any prevention of urban development within the corridor will
severely impact on future development rights for private
landholdings caught up in the corridor area, most probably without
The Flinders-Karawatha corridor
The Flinders-Karawatha corridor stretches from the south of
Ipswich at Flinders Peak to the suburbs of Brisbane City at
Karawatha Forest, passing through Beaudesert shire, the Greenbank
Military Reserve and on to the Wyaralong Dam near Boonah. This
corridor of open eucalypt bushland is approximately 60 km in
length. A map of the area is available
The Government's five-year vision for the Flinders
Natural Resource Minister Rachel Nolan has announced that the
five-year vision moves to 'cement' the degree of protection
through regional planning mechanisms.
The five year vision includes three phases:
1. Planning protection for the corridor
Between now and December 2011, consultation will be undertaken
in order to precisely define the boundaries of the corridor.
The area, once refined, could trigger provisions of the South
East Queensland Regional Plan to prevent urban development with the
corridor. We anticipate that this will be achieved by placing
affected land outside the mapped urban development footprint.
The intent of the South East Queensland Regional Plan and its
regulatory provisions is to severely limit development
opportunities outside the urban footprint. For example, a
development application for a material change of use may need to be
refused unless the location requirements or environmental impacts
of the proposed development necessitate its location outside the
urban footprint, and there is an overriding need for the proposal
in the public interest. Further, there is no compensation payable
under the Sustainable Planning Act as a consequence of a change to
the Regional Plan.
The Natural Resource Minister's announcement indicated that
protection can be applied by Easter 2012.
2. Tenure resolution for corridor
The next step is to determine how the publicly-owned parts of
the corridor are to be managed.
Consultation on tenure and management operations could be
finalised by late 2013, allowing time for local councils that have
already purchased critical bushland areas to be involved.
Consultation will also be undertaken with private landholders,
who may be willing to provide conservation protection or public
access to their lands if, in exchange, that land is used as offsets
for bushland lost elsewhere.
3. Infrastructure provision
Opening up the corridor to public access will involve the
provision of infrastructure such as wildlife bridges and walking
tracks. The goal is to make the land connected for wildlife and
open within five years.
HopgoodGanim's Planning and Environment team would be happy
to provide specific advice on the impact of this announcement.
This legal update is an overview of existing eligible project activities and new project types proposed to be developed.
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