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Gold Coast residents still don't know how their suburbs will grow

Media Release Tue, 26 June 2007*

Residents of Mudgeeraba and Reedy Creek still don't know how their suburbs will grow following a public meeting on the Gold Coast's Local Growth Management Strategy held in Mudgeeraba last week.

The meeting, attended by representatives of Queensland's Office of Urban Management and the Member for Mudgeeraba, State MP Ms Dianne Reilly, was to coincide with the release of the Gold Coast Strategy for public comment; however, due to the number of changes required to the draft following the State Interest check, the Growth Management Strategy has been deferred until later this year.

Sheila Davis, spokesperson for the Mudgeeraba Community Association, which hosted the meeting, said that the level of development planned for these suburbs, the Gold Coast and the whole of the South East Queensland region over the next 20 years must be reconsidered in light of recent studies.

"Warnings in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report, released earlier this year, that continued development in South East Queensland puts more people at risk from flooding and storms as well as studies that show the Gold Coast has the highest nature conservation values of any city in Australia are being ignored," said Ms Davis.

"If we are to protect what remains of the region's dwindling biodiversity, our subtropical lifestyle, the tourism potential of our region, and also adapt to climate change," Ms Davis said, "we must not overdevelop beyond our carrying capacity."

Attendees at the meeting expressed concerns about destruction of wildlife habitats, degraded creeks, potential flooding, the social impacts of high density housing and the loss of natural resources through dam building and quarrying for infrastructure projects.

"Residents want to know whether an additional 4000 homes are going in our forests or on our floodplains," said Ms Davis. "State government representatives said that the details are up to the local government, but confirmed that the growth target for the Gold Coast in the South East Queensland Regional Plan is an additional 135,500 new dwellings, and that under State laws the local government has no ability to prohibit development anywhere."

The Mudgeeraba Community Association will be hosting another public meeting when the Gold Coast's Local Growth Management Strategy, which implements the Plan into the planning scheme, is put on display later this year.

"We are urging all members of the community to have their say about the level of development we want for our city," said Ms Davis. "We should not be tied to the figures decided nearly 20 years ago before we had the knowledge that we have today."

"These planning targets must be reconsidered in light of predictions of lower rainfall, increased storm activity, considerations of protection of nature conservation values and ecological services, and provision of open space and other needs of residents," said Ms Davis.

"While the SEQ Plan is a step in the right direction," said Ms Davis, "these targets are clearly unsustainable given the need to provide resources and to protect the high biodiversity and steep landscape of our City."

For more information:

Sheila Davis, MCA Secretary 07 55306600 or 0423-305478

Dino Crestani, MCA President 07 5559 0250

Russell White, MCA Treasurer 0408-981-242

Mudgeeraba Community Association Inc, PO Box 552, Mudgeeraba Qld 4213