Here’s why community participation in planning is vital to protecting your environment
7 July 2015
Greg Wood and fellow members of the Rainbow Beach community took action when a proposed development threatened their local environment.
It was a lengthy and exhausting fight over planning law that eventually took the group to court against professional developers of a proposed resort and residential development at Rainbow Beach in 2013.
Just a short swim from Fraser Island, Rainbow Beach on the Cooloola Coast is the last remaining expanse of natural open space and intact environment on South East Queensland’s mainland coast.
Animals and plants of many species that have disappeared in other parts of Queensland survive at Rainbow Beach because there has been no fragmentation by development or overpopulation.
The proposed development raised concerns relating to flora and fauna biodiversity, coastal processes, erosion and storm surge, bushfire management, waste water re-use and ground water contamination.
The proposed development was also linked to other indirect impacts on the local environment, and climate change.
After 35 days of evidence, the Queensland Planning and Environment Court delivered its decision.
Ultimately the Court found the proposed development would adversely impact on flora, fauna and biodiversity values to an unwarranted extent.
The court also found it would consequently conflict with the provisions of various planning documents and was not supported by sufficient economic, community or planning need.
Due to this court decision, and the brave and persistent actions of Greg and his fellow environmental defenders to stand up against big companies for their local community and environment, Rainbow Beach continues to be free of high-density development and is a true refuge from the ever-accelerating growth of South East Queensland.
Our planning laws are the foundation of regulating development in Queensland. They must be strong, prepared through broad consultation across the state, and they must have the environment’s needs represented.
Over the next two weeks EDO Qld will be holding free community seminars across South East Queensland on proposed new planning laws, your rights and the protection of ecology:
- Brisbane, Thursday 9 July 2015
- Sunshine Coast, Wednesday 15 July 2015
- Gold Coast, Thursday 16 July 2015
Don’t forget to RSVP!