Friday, June 21, 2024

Redland Mayor ‘surprised’ as Minister steps in to action housing strategy

Redland City Council Mayor, Karen Williams, says she is “surprised” by Queensland Deputy Premier Steven Miles’ announcement that he will undertake work to urgently action a new housing strategy for the city.

The Mayor claims the Council is achieving the housing targets set by the State Government.

“The State Government signed off on our City Plan in 2018 and our current Redlands Housing Strategy takes us to 2031,” Mayor Williams said.

“I spoke with the Deputy Premier just [on Wednesday] afternoon about housing and he indicated his willingness to work collaboratively with Council.

Redland Mayor, Karen Williams.

“He did not advise of his upcoming letter or his decision to undertake a housing strategy for us.”

In a statement, Minister Miles said the Government was stepping in to develop a housing supply and diversity strategy for the City following the council’s “inability to update its outdated City Plan over many years”.

Mr Miles said the Council’s current City Plan did not provide sufficient housing supply or diversity to address population growth.

“The current housing strategy for the city is dated 2011 and is based on 2006 population data, meaning it does not take into account significant population and housing challenges in the past decade,” Mr Miles said.

“For example, the current strategy identified a dwelling target of 66,200 by 2031, however, as of 2021, there is already a total of 65,200 dwellings in the Redlands area.

“Redlands has been asked repeatedly to update its housing strategy but has declined to do so.

“The people of Redlands – now and into the future – need affordable homes urgently.”

Mayor Williams maintains the Council is one of the few in south east Queensland achieving dwelling targets.

“Council has also been waiting on the latest population and dwelling projections from the State Government, which would enable a review of the SEQ Regional Plan and support Council in reviewing its own housing strategy,” she said.

“Council has already significantly progressed a new local plan for a new emerging community at South West Victoria Point and is working with the Queensland Government in progressing a Priority Growth Area located in Southern Redland Bay.

“Between them, these two communities will provide about 6,500 new dwellings.”

Deputy Premier Steven Miles.

In his letter to Council, Mr Miles said he would be exercising powers under the Planning Act to “urgently undertake the strategy and consider what amendments are needed to the City Plan to facilitate the range of housing needs identified by the strategy”.

“The purpose of the strategy is to investigate housing supply and diversity in the Redland area and provide the evidence base for my consideration of any amendments required to the City Plan,” Mr Miles said.

“Now more than ever, it’s vital that all local governments have well positioned planning schemes to support housing choice. This includes removing regulatory impediments that prevent a variety of housing.”

In a social media post, Labor Member for Capalaba, MP Don Brown welcomed the Deputy Premier’s “extraordinary” announcement, saying affordable homes were urgently needed in Redlands.

“The current housing strategy for the city is from 2011 and is based on 2006 population data. A lot has changed in that time in the Redlands,” he said.

“The Council has been asked repeatedly to update their strategy, and they’ve failed to do so. That’s why the State Government is stepping in to develop their housing strategy.

“This is an extraordinary step, but it’s the right thing to do to secure affordable housing for residents,” said Mr Brown.

Mr Miles said Queensland Government officials would continue to work with the Council in attempts to resolve the lack of housing choice and diversity in the Redland area.

“Effective planning and management of growth is a shared responsibility of both state and local government,” Mr Miles said.

“The State Government is committed to working with and supporting the council to ensure the strategy achieves the state interest for housing supply and diversity, as well as the council’s objectives and community expectations in planning for growth in the Redland area.

“However, as this has been communicated on a number of occasions, I am now taking this extraordinary step to get this done.

“The Queensland Government will also consider the need for additional infrastructure including roads, sewage and water, schools and community facilities that would support more housing in the region,” said Mr Miles.

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