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Council responds to community feedback on Planning Scheme

Over the past seven months, Council has been reviewing submissions received from the general community regarding proposed changes to the Planning Scheme as part of Amendment Package 2.
 
As a result of public consultation during July and August last year, Council received 77 submissions to the proposed amendments and these have been carefully reviewed by Council officers. Council officers’ recommendations were presented to Council earlier today and have been fully endorsed by the Councillors.
 
The two main issues that emerged during public consultation on the proposed amendments, and which were addressed during today’s Council meeting, related to the Victory Heights Local Development Area zoning, as well as approvals for motorsports and music events.
 
Victory Heights Local Development Area proposed zoning amendments
 
Amendment Package 2 proposed that the Victory Heights Local Development Area (LDA) change from a Low or Medium Impact Industry zone to a Rural Residential and/or Limited Development zone. 
 
During consultation, Council received nine submissions relating to this proposed change, all of which sought to retain the current industrial zoning. Council responded to this feedback and undertook an internal land use planning investigation to determine if retaining the current zoning was a viable outcome. 
 
Based on the outcomes of the investigation and in response to the community’s feedback, Council will seek to retain Low or Medium Impact Industry zoning for the Victory Heights LDA.
 
Council will issue letters to all impacted landholders explaining this outcome and provide them with another opportunity to comment before a final decision is made by Council on how to proceed with the proposed zonings in this area.
 
Motorsports and music events
 
The other significant issue that was raised during consultation of the proposed Amendment Package 2 related to motorsports and music events that are held throughout the region.
 
The proposed amendments would have made it easier for people to host ad hoc temporary events in the Rural zone twice a year for no more than four consecutive days without requiring any Council approval.
 
All 44 submissions received about this issue objected to the proposed amendments and, in response, Council has opted to remove these amendments from Amendment Package 2. Council will undertake further investigations on how these events can occur on an ad hoc basis without the need for a development approval. The findings of this investigation will be brought back to Council for consideration as part of a new Planning Scheme.
 
The next step
 
Following today’s Council endorsement, Council officers will issue a letter to everyone who prepared a submission regarding the proposed Amendments Package 2 and provide them with specific feedback on the issues they raised. 
 
Council will undertake an additional round of public consultation for 20 business days on amendments that have undergone a ‘significant change’ based on community feedback such as the Victory Heights LDA zonings and motorsports and music events. 
 
The proposed amendments that have not changed as a result of community feedback will be forwarded to the Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning who will review the package. Some of these amendments that have not been changed include:
 
Increasing the gross floor area for secondary dwellings from 60m2 to 70m2 to allow for a second bedroom more comfortably
 
Lowering the level of assessment for health care services in the Local Centre zone at the coast
 
Lowering the level of assessment for home-based businesses in the District Centre zone, acknowledging that there are a number of established dwelling houses in this zone where a home-based business could operate
 
A new consolidated Advertising Devices Code that provides for increased clarity for advertising devices
 
A new Home-Based Business Code that aims to facilitate home-based businesses whilst mitigating potential amenity impacts on adjoining neighbours and localities.
 
If approved, the package will be presented to Council for final endorsement before being adopted and incorporated into a new version of the Planning Scheme. 
 
Amendments Package 3
 
While Council continues to progress Amendment Package 2, work is already underway with Amendment Package 3. Making changes to the planning scheme is a lengthy legislative process and while we are coming to the end of Amendment Package 2, Council is in the early stages of Amendment Package 3.
 
There are three main topics that will be addressed as part of Amendment Package 3 to the Planning Scheme. 
 
Two of these are seeking to incorporate the Council-endorsed Temporary Local Planning Instruments (TLPI) for the Southside Structure Plan Area and the Protection of Biodiversity Values. The main focus of these TLPIs is for stronger environmental regulation that will bring our region into closer alignment with neighbouring shires.
 
A new Street Tree Policy will also be proposed as part of Amendment Package 3. 
 
With correct placement, street trees can act as traffic calming devices, reduce air pollution and provide shade along footpaths. They also act as a filter, catching dust particles, grime and other pollutants, which in turn improves air quality. They also help to lower air temperatures by an average of five degrees.
 
The proposed Amendment Package 3 will be out for public consultation later this year.
 
To read more about Gympie’s Planning Scheme, visit www.gympie.qld.gov.au/planning-scheme.

Mayor's Column - Wednesday, 12th February 2020 Mayor's Column - Wednesday, 12th February 2020

The old saying that ‘a week is a long time in politics’ was particularly true again at the federal level this week. Those issues aside, the Gympie region, like all others across the state, is gearing up for our local elections.  

These elections give the wider community the opportunity and democratic right to select the candidate that they wish to have a leadership role in the management of their community for the next four years.  

I would urge all residents to do their research on all candidates and get to know who they will be casting their vote for as the election date of 28 March fast approaches.  
I would also urge residents to heed another old saying; ‘actions speak louder than words’.  

Representing your constituents and the wider community as a duly elected councillor, in my opinion, is one of the greatest honours that could be bestowed upon an individual, however it is certainly not a popularity contest and nor should it be.  

Difficult decisions need to be made which will draw the ire of some while benefitting the majority.  You will be subjected to much more scrutiny and gossip than your family and friends will ever be.  
You will be required to adhere to stringent laws, policies and procedures which you may not have been required to previously.  But on the upside, you will represent your community and have a say and a role in delivering community services, projects and infrastructure for the benefit of the wider community and the region.  
Current councillors, over this term of council, should be proud of their contributions.  

I wish each and every resident who nominates to lead this community at the forth coming elections, all the very best. 

Mayor Mick Curran 

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