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Labor accuses Newman of trampling over councils

Opposition leader Annastacia Palaszczuk
Opposition leader Annastacia Palaszczuk Warren Lynam

LABOR has attacked the Newman Government for trampling all over councils and not listening to community concerns.

But Opposition leader Annastacia Palaszczuk was silent yesterday when questioned about her assessment of past Labor governments dealings with Sunshine Coast Council that saw it lose control over planning for Caloundra South.

The Newman Government has thwarted Sunshine Coast Council's bid to exclude from its planning scheme a 1400ha land parcel south of Caloundra South which the previous Labor Government had insisted be included in the 2009 review of the SEQ Regional Plan against council's wishes.

The matter will now be determined by another review before the end of this year.

An Opposition spokesman said yesterday that Shadow Planning Minister Tim Mulherin was keen to meet Mayor Mark Jamieson and other stakeholders to hear their concerns.

"Labor has always advocated the importance of the inter-urban break south of Caloundra as integral to maintaining the Sunshine Coast as a community in its own right,'' the spokesman said.

But direct questions put to Ms Palaszczuk went unanswered.

The following sought an unequivocal statement of Labor's position: "Would the Opposition in government commit to allowing the Sunshine Coast Council to remove Halls Creek from planning documents where it is listed as an investigation area for urban development?"

The Bligh Government removed control of planning for the Caloundra South development from council, claiming it was taking too long and the project had to be shovel ready to provide affordable housing.

History now shows that the removal of council slowed the final approval process, that affordable housing targets were removed from approvals and that there is an identified $500 million shortfall in infrastructure required to be provided by the developer.

Ms Palaszczuk also did not respond to the following question:

"In hindsight does Ms Palaszczuk still believe that the Bligh's Government's actions in relation to Caloundra South and Halls Creek were right and if so by what justification?"

An Opposition spokesman said the LNP went to the last election promising to empower local governments, but their track record was one of trampling all over councils and not listening to the community's concerns.

That is an accusation also levelled at Labor when it last held office.

Topics:  Annastacia Palaszczuk caloundra south campbell newman halls creek labor lnp



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