Council calls for critical infrastructure for potential state-imposed housing development on Redlands Coast

Redland City Council has identified the critical elements it believes the Queensland Government must consider as part of the South-East Queensland Regional Plan (SEQRP) review.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams also tabled a Mayoral Minute at the General Council meeting today (Wednesday 19 April 2023), raising concerns about a possible Ministerial designation to facilitate accelerated delivery of suburban-scale housing in a 900-hectare site in Southern Thornlands, otherwise known as the Southern Thornlands Potential Future Growth Area (STPFGA).

Cr Williams said Council was recently made aware the Planning Minister may designate the entirety of the STPFGA as a Priority Development Area (PDA) as a means of addressing the unfolding housing crisis across the state and the nation.

“Council recognises there is a housing crisis, supports additional housing when it comes with critical state government infrastructure, and is looking at its own housing affordability initiatives,” Cr Williams said.

“However, zoning a new area for up to 8000 dwellings without infrastructure when we already have enough other land supply is not the answer.

“The proposal not only directly conflicts with Council’s preferred land use intents for Southern Thornlands, which includes a precinct that will accommodate a mixed industry business area to provide employment opportunities and for rural residential living, but there also does not appear to be any evidence to support this potential declaration.

“On the key performance benchmarks identified in the South-East Queensland Regional Plan, Redland City Council is exceeding all its residential land supply targets, with the state’s own data showing Redland City has current capacity to provide up to 43,000 dwellings – almost four times what is required.”

Cr Williams said the Queensland Government had also completed studies across the state of land availability for housing and population forecasts, but it had not been released publicly.

“It is important that this information, the 2022 Land Supply Monitoring Report, which includes data for Redlands Coast, is released for all to see before imposing such a large-scale housing development in this area,” Cr Williams said.

“Council wants to work with all levels of government as we know this is not something that one level of government can fix alone. We need everyone at the table and transparency around data that can inform decisions on this important work.

“A co-ordinated response is required to address the national housing crisis and cost of living pressures more broadly, ensuring residents have somewhere to live while meeting their social needs and protecting their quality of life.

“For example, a significant issue for Redlands Coast is a lack of social housing, which is a State Government responsibility.

“Council is investigating its own options to support affordable housing in the city. This includes possible incentives for the delivery of affordable housing products to market.”

Cr Williams said Council was committed to working collaboratively with the State Government to deliver solutions that would achieve meaningful impacts for the Redlands Coast community.

Cr Williams said key interventions by the State Government could include:

  • A significant increase in funding for social and affordable housing.
  • Investments in region-shaping infrastructure that will unlock the take up of appropriately zoned land in the existing urban footprint.
  • Legislative reforms that support the delivery of smaller and more affordable housing options.
  • Strategies and programs that deliver affordable housing outside of traditional public housing models of provision, such as build-to-rent schemes and transitioning public housing stock to the community housing sector for redevelopment.
  • The establishment of a dedicated team within State Government to streamline the delivery of affordable housing.

Cr Williams said it was important to note that affordability issues currently being experienced on Redlands Coast were not related to a lack of supply of appropriately zoned land, but the timely delivery of housing to market.

“Council absolutely supports additional housing but wants to ensure that housing comes with the critical infrastructure required to support the communities who live there,” Cr Williams said.

“We want those who live there to be able to enjoy our naturally wonderful lifestyle, go to a school nearby, have employment opportunities, effective public transport, good roads, and hospital services.

“If there was to be a State Government designation of a PDA for Southern Thornlands potentially incorporating up to 8000 new dwellings, this is twice the size of the Shoreline development in Redland Bay.

“Without the required infrastructure for such a massive influx to the population, equivalent to a whole new Council division, there would be significant negative impacts on our community, environment, and lifestyle.

“The city already requires state infrastructure such as an eastern busway from Capalaba to Carindale, duplication of Cleveland train line and upgrades to the state road networks.

“Council will not endorse a regional plan that proposes additional growth without a commitment from the Queensland Government to fund new and upgraded infrastructure.

“Our community has been adamant in demanding any population growth needs to be accompanied by critical state infrastructure such as roads, hospitals and schools.”

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