Concerns over local tourist accommodation aired
STAKEHOLDERS have asked for a greater focus on tourism, campsites for miners to minimise impacts on small communities and town exclusion zones as the State Government drafts its statutory regional plans.
Over the past few months a regional planning committee has consulted with Darling Downs stakeholders with the goal of establishing a Statutory Regional Plan- an outline of land for mining and agricultural use.
Deputy Premier and State Development, Planning and Infrastructure Minister Jeff Seeney has released the issues stakeholders aired throughout the draft process.
The Southern Downs Regional Council voiced the need to invigorate the tourism industry including the local wine industry.
Across the region, industry and community leaders voiced concern about transient resources workers taking over local tourist accommodations.
"This reduces tourist beds availability tourism interests and spending," the issue paper stated.
When it comes to protecting local communities from the resources boom's negative impacts, both Southern Downs and Western Downs Councils want an exclusion zone for mining opportunities around all towns, including those less than 1000 people.
But industry and communities argued a two kilometre buffer zone was not appropriate for all towns.
"Consideration should be given to fringe activities and community perception in individual towns," the issue paper states.
Western Downs Regional Council has also flagged the out of sight out of mind prospect of identifying miners' camp sites to minimise community impacts.
Mr Seeney said he would travel to Biloela on Friday and Chinchilla next week to finalise the issues with the regional planning committee.
"The issues papers seek to deliver on our election commitments to address the land use conflict issues by proposing priority agricultural areas be mapped across each region with co-existence criteria to be established for other land uses within those priority agricultural areas," he said.
"Similarly, town protection areas are proposed to protect the amenity and social values of regional towns, hamlets and rural residential areas."
The draft statutory regional plans will be released for public consultation early next year.