Did you know The Queensland Plan — the Government's 30-year blueprint for the State — is currently under review?
Submissions close 7 November.
You would be forgiven for not being aware of this review — we also haven’t noticed much fanfare or broad attempts at consultation given this is a review of the plan for the future of our state.
This is particularly strange since the first plan was brought into creation as a result of “one simple idea: that every Queenslander should have a say in the future of our state” (p1).
This plan was released in 2014 with the intention of being the “aspirational community vision” for the next 30 years for Queensland.
Subtitled Queenslanders' 30-Year Vision, the plan provides nine foundation areas: education, community, regions, economy, health and wellbeing, environment, people, infrastructure and governance, with goals for each supported by various performance indicators and baselines where available.
This consultation is being undertaken to fulfil the required 5-year review of the Plan under the Queensland Plan Act 2014 (Qld).
Under this Act, the Queensland Government must consult through “community consultation activities held throughout Queensland”, and must consult across sectors. The government will then present findings and respond to the review by October 2019.
The Government seeks your comments on these two key questions:
By way of examples on two key foundation areas – governance and environment:
The current foundation for ‘governance’ is: “Governance is the people’s voice. The decisions made by governments and community organisations change our lives. We want a greater say in the process and in the allocation of resources, especially in our local communities. We will reframe our governance model to involve a broader cross-section of stakeholders, including everyday Queenslanders. We’ll reduce red tape and have effective regulation to positively change behaviours.”
The following goals are provided for this foundation area:
Are these goals enough to ensure good governance in Queensland?
We recommend a focus on improved accountability and transparency measures in local and state governance and decision making is essential to improve governance in the state. From our experience, the community seeks and needs more certainty that decisions, particularly under our environment and development laws, will protect the environment and communities, and won’t be subject to broad discretions without sufficient, meaningful public scrutiny and input.
The current foundation for ‘environment’ is: “We are the guardians of our environment. Queensland is home to diverse, pristine environments, including five World Heritage sites. We have a duty of care to preserve and protect our environment so it continues to underpin our lifestyle and economy. We will encourage sustainable practices including green energy solutions and the responsible management of our growing communities.”
The goals for environment are very high level (see pages 59-64), however the visions for "success" provide guidance which would be well-heeded by government across all departments, including recognition of the need to move to renewable energy and away from fossil fuel, and ensuring we limit urban sprawl.
We recommend more focus on goals around improving biodiversity and threatened species populations and habitat, as well as integrating our targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions throughout all foundation areas, since our emission reduction work must be integrated across government to be successful!
What do you want for Queensland’s future?
What do you feel needs to be addressed in the plan for Queensland’s environment, governance and communities?
Get your comments in via completing this survey.
Submissions close 11.59pm, 7 November.