The State government’s review of the planning and development laws got hotter when peak environmental groups lodged a submission on the review of the Integrated Planning Act (IPA) - Queensland’s most important land use legislation.
The Environmental Defenders Office and Queensland Conservation, lodged a joint submission endorsed by the bulk of Queensland’s regional environment councils, raising climate change as an urgent issue to be addressed in the IPA review.
The government is engaged in an extensive review of the Integrated Planning Act. The review has been controversial with developers calling for speedier development and the community calling for better environmental protection and a fairer system. So far, the Department of Local Government and Planning has raised over 80 proposals to amend IPA – none address climate change.
The community and environment sectors call for amendments to IPA to specifically address greenhouse gas reduction and climate change adaptation.
Anita O’Hart, solicitor for the EDO QLD says:
“Climate change is the biggest threat facing Queensland. The Integrated Planning Act is about development and land use planning – what better mechanism to coordinate an effective response to climate change? It would be embarrassing for the government to completely overhaul the Integrated Planning Act without addressing climate change.
“We believe IPA can be amended in a simple way so that reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to climate change are fundamental to planning and development decisions.”
Toby Hutcheon, Coordinator of Queensland Conservation says:
“Targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions are inevitable. Mechanisms will be needed to achieve these targets. The longer we leave our response, the harder it will be to meet reduction targets.”