Onus on Queensland councils to help solve housing problems

Councils in South East Queensland will be required to adjust their planning schemes to provide more social and affordable housing under a draft plan released by the state government.

Steven Miles

The state government has promised to work with councils after releasing its blueprint for the delivery of almost 900,000 new homes in South East Queensland on Tuesday.

It comes after the government last week released figures forecasting strong population grown in the region, which is predicted to be home to almost 6 million people by 2046.

The draft SEQ regional plan, which is open for community consultation, aims to accommodate 2.2 million new residents by 2046.

It provides a framework in which councils and developers can work to provide a targeted 20 per cent social and affordable housing in the region.

“This plan helps put in place a framework that councils can use to deliver more homes over the coming decade,” deputy Premier Steven Miles said.

“For the first time, councils in the region’s 12 local government areas will be required to adjust their planning schemes to help deliver a mix of homes to offer more choice to our communities.”

Affected councils include of Brisbane, Gold Coast, Ipswich, Lockyer Valley, Logan, Moreton Bay, Noosa, Redland, Scenic Rim, Somerset, Sunshine Coast and Toowoomba.

Local action plans completed

It comes as the state government on Wednesday also announced 22 remote Queensland councils have completed local housing action plans as part of the state’s housing and homelessness initiatvies.

Cr Samantha O’Toole

The government funded the Western Queensland Alliance of Councils (WQAC) $200,000 to prepare the plans, which are designed to boost housing supply and respond to homelessness in rural and remote LGAs.

“All 22 Local Housing Action Plans were completed by June 2023 as planned and have proven to be key in identifying priority actions to respond to housing challenges in each local government area,” Mr Miles said.

The state has also funded LGAQ $600,000 to develop plans for 38 more councils by the middle of next year.

 Housing availability and diversity is one of the major challenges faced by councils, WQAC spokeswoman and Balonne Shire Mayor Samantha O’Toole said.

“The Western Queensland Alliance of Councils has been focused on examining the housing challenges facing regional and remote Queensland and giving local governments a clearer path forward,” she said in a statement.

“Once implemented, they will have the potential to make an enormous difference to the sustainability and liveability of our communities, and show other councils the positive benefits of having a Local Housing Action Plan in place.”

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