Business involvement crucial in tackling population challenges

Friday 28 May, 2010 | Tags: Infrastructure and Planning

Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) today welcomed the release of the State Government's first response to tacking population growth in Queensland but warned additional planning and business involvement is required and a greater focus is needed on regional Queensland.

In response to the Premier's announcements, CCIQ President David Goodwin said encouraging businesses to invest and expand into all regions in Queensland is vital to making regional areas a more appealing place to live.

"People will not move to new areas unless there are employment opportunities available," Mr Goodwin said.

"Generating jobs though business investment and expansion will be the key to making this proposal work.

"To make it appealing for businesses to invest in new regions, there needs to be an available workforce and necessary infrastructure networks.

"The Government should also look to reduce the cost of housing in regional Queensland, to increase the appeal of moving away from the South East.

"Better planning and approval processes and fast-tracked release of land for development in particular would address housing affordability issues."

The Premier's announcement also included major reforms in infrastructure planning as a key response to managing population growth by developing a Queensland Infrastructure Plan and establishing an Infrastructure Charges Taskforce.

Mr Goodwin said it was essential that the State Government undertakes an all-encompassing approach to infrastructure, placing equal attention on the quality, capacity, cost and planning of our state's infrastructure networks.

"Our infrastructure networks must be capable of meeting ongoing demand and act as an incentive to encourage increased business investment in all Queensland regions," Mr Goodwin said.

"Many of the initiatives identified by the Premier will not be successful without the involvement and support of business.

"Overall, it is vital that the Government's new agency - Growth Management Queensland - works with the Queensland business community from the word go to ensure we can successfully manage high population growth, setting our state apart from the rest of the country while driving strong economic growth and prosperity.

"It is essential these planning activities lead to a concrete plan for action with measurable and accountable outcomes that ensures we are managing population growth and not just planning for it."