Single State Policy Planning Qld

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Formal submission to the review of the draft Single State Planning Policy, the 7 sustainability principles and existing 12 sustainability policies. Innovative tools and co-design with community.

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Single State Policy Planning Qld

  1. 1. Single State Planning Policy (SSPP) Submission By Friends of South East Queensland (FOSEQ)Final - 12 June 2013 page 1 friends@envirobusiness.orgTo whom it may concernPlease find attached a summary of findings from sessions held throughout South East Queensland during April, May and June 2103 with community leaders,academics and professional officers, reviewing the direction for Planning in Queensland. Some of our debates concentrated on the SSPP, but the wholeplanning regime is interlinked and our concerns range more broadly. In order for a formal lodgement, we must comply with the prescription for propersubmission and provide additional information accordingly.Friends of South East Queensland Established 2000 informally then formally under federal legislation in 2003. Founded on Earth Charter Principles endorsed by UN in 2002 FOSEQ exercises 6 functions. FOSEQ has a board with a term of 3 years representing geographic and special interest communities (Indigenous and youth). FOSEQ originally comprised 707 habitat, social and community groups across SEQ, and now has individual and corporate members, reciprocal partners,and international benchmarking regions. FOSEQ meets on the last Saturday of the Month, and more often as special projects need special attention. FOSEQ convenes joint workshops and practises participatory decision-making and information sharing. Most workshops are reviewed for citizenshipprocesses and tested along an accelerated learning trajectory, in order to empower participants to take leadership in their own specialty areas. FOSEQ does not receive any funding from State Government. FOSEQ does not compete for funding against its membership groups, but provides support to enable local groups.(Original signed) Donnell Davis on behalf of the FOSEQ BoardBoard – E. Prof Joe Baker AO OBE (Patron), E. Prof Ian Lowe AO, Lin Fairlie, Decalie Newton, Robyn Keenan, Dr Patricia Kelly, Alicia Van Goor, Dr Clare Rudkin, WallyWight, Aunty Ruby Donnell Davis, Founding Director/ Executive Officer Tina Corn Administrator ABN 70623314040
  2. 2. Single State Planning Policy (SSPP) Submission By Friends of South East Queensland (FOSEQ)Final - 12 June 2013 page 2 friends@envirobusiness.orgContents:1. Executive Summary2. Purpose3. Background4. Assumptions5. Limitations6. Legal Hierarchy7. Fiduciary Duty of Care8. Meta-Analysis9. Design Blindness Vs Net-positive Development10. References11. Appendicesa. Video J. Michael Kirbyb. Written detailed comments: community meeting 25 May.c. Whole of system planning for shared governance (Queensland style)Executive SummaryFOSEQ met during April, May and June to discuss implications for the draft SSPP, which appears to be an omnibus overview. FOSEQ believes there isopportunity for designing for the future for net-positive development, if significant changes to approaches are made.The intended purpose and proposed future function of the SSPP was not clear, because there limited evidence for legal linkages to empower decisionmakers across the whole of the planning and development system in Queensland, which extends from development application through to court appealand the resulting cost of community impact. FOSEQ recommends linking UN, Commonwealth, National and local laws for sustainable development thatconsiders defensibility and the “whole of system cost” of shared governance.If the intention is to replace regional plans, the draft SSPP is inadequate and inappropriate in its current form. There are no value-based principles on whichto make determinations for priorities, because the draft SSPP has mechanical process-based principles. FOSEQ recommends reiterating the Earth Charter,
  3. 3. Single State Planning Policy (SSPP) Submission By Friends of South East Queensland (FOSEQ)Final - 12 June 2013 page 3 friends@envirobusiness.orgthe 7 sustainability principles and existing 12 sustainability policies with immediate cognisance to precautionary principles and inter-generational equity.This provides a mandate for desired behaviours.There is an expectation for fiduciary duty of care by the state government to care for vulnerable people and vulnerable ecosystems, when planning forthe future. Where the megatrends guide future decision making for all other jurisdictions and organisations, there is little evidence that the draft SSPPconsiders the following concerns: Critical climate change; Sustainable Population aligning with carrying capacity; Second recession (locally induced); Digitaleconomy; Mining slump; Peak oil (including 7 day reserve for imported Queensland fuels; Social Vulnerability growing in Queensland; Vulnerability ofEcosystems: natural systems on which economy and healthy lives depend; Prosperity without Growth; stop thinking like a developing country and startthinking like a first world country that does not wholly rely on building physical infrastructure at all costs; Stop putting Band-Aids on a broken old system;Stop borrowing from the future to pay for today. Stop betraying our grand-children; Rethink the system with citizen co-design; and don’t dumb down ourplanning, design and engineering professionalism.There is opportunity for better transparency and wiser investment evaluation through (1) re-assessed future need for infrastructure given changingtrends, (2) climate change infrastructure through Policy-in –practice cycle assessment, (3) whole of system development planning; and (4) clarity inmandating invasive developers to own the land on which they encroach for air, noise, nuisance and other pollution. (including KRAs)There is an opportunity to learn from the past 30 years, from first world circumstances, from megatrends projected in Queensland, to aspire to a net-positive future with innovative tools and co-design with community. “The future is something we create”.This draft SSPP document is lacking in so many areas that all participants were disappointed that this draft could possibly become a legal instrument. FOSEQis obliged to object because saying nothing would condone this.
  4. 4. Single State Planning Policy (SSPP) Submission By Friends of South East Queensland (FOSEQ)Final - 12 June 2013 page 4 friends@envirobusiness.orgPurpose:The purpose of this submission is to provide constructive feedback on the draft “single state planning policy”.Background:Friends South East Queensland (FOSEQ) met within several workshops, joint professional presentations and informally to finalise this submission. The mostconstructive and directive sessions were held on 27 April, 29 April, 25 May and 3 June 2013, at different locations with representation comprising a range ofskills and experience from professional bodies, community, and academia. This report only captures the essence of discussions.FOSEQ is obliged to object in this submission, because if we said nothing then that would condone the draft policy and the direction the state governmentwishes to take, which we found inappropriate and inadequate.Assumptions made about the draft:1. The draft is meant to simplify previous state planning policy by providing one document to replace 18 plus documents, without losing the nuancesand specifics that provide guidance in times of dispute. The draft SSPP is an omnibus overview.2. Micro focus for a macro expected outcome.3. Principles articulated are mechanical, process-based.4. The draft does not articulate that this draft policy is to replace each of the regional plans in Queensland, but seeks to combine only the stateplanning policies that evolved from 30 years of specific practice and hard won legal decisions in Queensland. (England, 2011; Maher, 2007) (Dr ChrisMcGrath, 2011) (George (Rock) Pring & Catherine (Kitty) Pring, 2009)5. Does not reflect the mega trends and mega opportunities articulated in futures thinking for Queensland. (i.e. Climate change, social vulnerability,population, second recession, housing adequacy, natural resource depletion, 7 day fuel reserve, mining slump, international investment, self-sufficiency precautions, prosperity without growth) (CSIRO, 2008; Littleboy, Hajkowicz, Moody, Parsons, & Wilhelmseder, 2012a; Williams et al.,2012) (Jackson, 2009)6. There are Insufficient legal links in which to empower decision makers, community or legal systems. The draft does not logically link to UNdeclarations, Commonwealth Law and agreements, National Policy bases, Local Government language developed over the last decade in order todovetail into transparent decision-making. (United Nations, 1972) (Berry, 2006)
  5. 5. Single State Planning Policy (SSPP) Submission By Friends of South East Queensland (FOSEQ)Final - 12 June 2013 page 5 friends@envirobusiness.org7. Does not consider fiduciary duty of care of government to protect the most vulnerable in order to provide a safe and equitable environment to liveand thrive, now and for the foreseeable future. (Coghill, 2012) (Coghill, Sampford, & Smith, 2012)8. The standard of writing of the draft document was quite low, unprofessional, and below high school standard of English. (See attachment). A majorre-write would be required.Limitations of the draft SSPP:1. This draft is focussed on statutory land use planning, only.2. This draft focuses on the economic development for Queensland under 4 headings. (Planning Institute of Australia, 2013)3. This draft does not address social planning except for housing supply, future land development, and amenity. The focus in on new developmentnot retrofitting or enhancing performance of the current assets.4. This draft does not address environment and heritage except for mapping state and local government owned land, and getting local governmentand civil society to protect precious natural assets. There is significant duty of care for the “commons” on which our collective healthy life depends.5. There is no determination for priority among the micro-principles articulated.6. There is a trend that suggests that “local government will carry the burden of care” while not being provided the full authority or funding. Thismeans the community through rates will pay for care that was previously provided by state government. As state government no longer fundscommunity projects and the federal government takes over some of those responsibilities, this begs the question of the role of state governmentin this new regime.7. If the state assumes the policeman role only, then state funding from income tax and GST and COAG agreements should be directed at LocalGovernments and Community Civil Society to actually implement the desired changes. (Ecologically Sustainable Development Steering Committee,1992) (Eminent Persons Group CHOGM, 2012)8. There is no transparency for the increase to 150 plus new Key Resource Areas (KRA) deemed by state government, when community and localgovernments have not been appraised or consulted on options and long term impacts. I understand in April 2013, that number was about 89 KRAs.( Redland City Council, Scenic Rim Council 2013)9. There is insufficient clout to mandate developer-owned buffers for sensitive and hazardous industries, but page 35 makes efforts to address this.10. There is no evidence of climate framework for natural hazards. It is recommended that a precautionary policy-in-practice-cycle is employed toensure appropriate measures of preventive, early intervention, crisis and reactionary initiatives with investment evaluation tools.11. There is no big picture question for demand for infrastructure that is cognisant of mega-trends, or constant re-evaluating the need for additionalinfrastructure or Greenfield sites as lifestyles change in Queensland. The old formulae may not be congruent with foreseeable futures.
  6. 6. Single State Planning Policy (SSPP) Submission By Friends of South East Queensland (FOSEQ)Final - 12 June 2013 page 6 friends@envirobusiness.org12. Water is contentious since the 1997 reforms, underpinning the need for fiduciary duty of care and human rights to water. (Blue Covenant 2009)13. Coal Seam Gas exploration and mining does not reflect precautionary principles s or intergenerational equity in draft SSPP.Legal HierarchyThere was unanimous agreement that the draft document lacked sufficient substantial legal linkage between International law, Commonwealth law,national policy with regional and local governance, and sustainability principles. (UN Habitat, 2011; UNEP, 2011) (UNU, 2011) (United Nations & ICLEI -Local Governments for Sustainability, 2012) (Eminent Persons Group, 2011) (Brundtland, 1987) (Commonwealth Foundation, 2009) Those legal linkagesare imperative if the SSPP was to become a tool for decision making and to aid courts resolve planning issues.The ethical framework for sustainable development is missing. The Earth Charter is recommended aligned with a hierarchy for sustainable developmentand forms an appendix for your further information. (United Nations, 1972)Principle based policy is required to empower confident decision making. In the case of SSPP, value-based principles founded on International law, andaccepted Australian Laws are required. (Please refer to J. Michael Kirby’s Video in the appendix summarising his new book). 7 accepted SustainabilityPrinciples and the 12 Queensland sustainability policies are not cited in the draft SSPP. (The Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional Planning, 2008)Only mechanical objective are articulated which does not lead to confident value-based decision making.Two significant principles are precautionary principles and inter-generational equity. These guided the previous Queensland Charter of Social andFiscal Responsibilities which provided an accountability framework for decision making for Queensland Government. There is no evidence of that levelof accountability traceable in the draft SSPP.Lessons from the past 30 years of planning are not evidenced in the draft document. The draft SSPP would simplify the front end of the pipe(development applications) and complicate the end of the pipe (court appeals and mediation) by not coping with the lack of framework for the clarity,certainty and professionalism needed for development assessors, appellants, respondents expert witnesses, ADR and mediators generally, and judicialofficers. The certainty now seen with the reduction from 7000 live cases to 700 live cases over the past decade in the Planning and Environment Courtwill reverse. (ICE Coalition, 2011) What lessons would be lost?
  7. 7. Single State Planning Policy (SSPP) Submission By Friends of South East Queensland (FOSEQ)Final - 12 June 2013 page 7 friends@envirobusiness.orgSimplifying development at all cost is not a wise economic pathway for the state government. Saving time and funds at the beginning at the pipewould result in major expense and efforts in resolving the mess at the end of the pipe, as inappropriate decisions are allowed with unintended “evil”consequences as a result. The holistic view of the development process needs to be considered when planning for Queensland. (Dr Chris McGrath,2011)There is evidence that would involve a conflict between levels of government, which is an unnecessary outcome, when complementarity is possible tobe designed into the SSPP. ( Please refer to extracts in the appendices).Fiduciary duty of careGovernance can be defined as “what government does”, which begs the question of “what is government for?” The best contemporary explanationinvolves the fiduciary duty of care for the peoples, the greater public interest, the greater public good, the common good, and the commons (sharedresources like the atmosphere, land, water, oceans, and outer space). (Coghill, et al., 2012) In democratic societies the “responsive rule” should apply,according to Paul Finn, “standards for conduct properly to be expected of persons occupying fiduciary positions, that is, persons who, by virtue ofposition, responsibility or function, were expected to act in another’s interest and not their own interest”. (Paul Finn, 1995) In international law, this iscalled Jus Cogens which relates to “natural law” from 1758, and peremptory norms from 1923 in the International Court of Justice.Two significant principles are precautionary principles and inter-generational equity. These guided the Queensland Charter of Social and FiscalResponsibilities which provided an accountability framework for Queensland Government. That charter is not used by this current government.Care for Vulnerable people and ecosystems are similar. The concept of caring for the most vulnerable underpins peace and community rights withresponsibility. Where inequities occur, conflict ensues. This triggers a duty of care for actions to protect the greater good/ community.Dis-enfranchised people and vulnerable ecosystems are pressure points. Any state planning policy should be cognisant of these pressure points andplan to act accordingly. This is not always evident in the draft SSPP.
  8. 8. Single State Planning Policy (SSPP) Submission By Friends of South East Queensland (FOSEQ)Final - 12 June 2013 page 8 friends@envirobusiness.orgMeta AnalysisDuring the 3 June discussions about the future role of the SSPP, there was significant concern about the expected future status of the policy. As afuture directive document the draft is inadequate. In most futures thinking, a scenario based approach allows for the foreseeable challenges andopportunities. (UNEP, 2012) (Littleboy, Hajkowicz, Moody, Parsons, & Wilhelmseder, 2012b) There is little evidence that any “futures thinking” wasconsidered to shape the draft SSPP. Matters of concern are summarised: Critical Climate change Sustainable Population aligning with carrying capacity Second recession (locally induced). Digital economy Mining slump Peak oil, including 7 day reserve for imported fuels (Queensland fuels), self sufficiency Social Vulnerability growing in Queensland Vulnerability of Ecosystems: natural systems on which economy and healthy lives depend. Prosperity without Growth. (Question our consumption model) Queensland should stop thinking like a developing country and start thinking like afirst world country that does not wholly rely on building physical infrastructure at all costs. Stop putting Band-Aids on a broken old system Stop borrowing from the future to pay for today. Stop betraying our grand-children Rethink the system with citizen co-design. Local areas are just a microcosm of Queensland, Australia. Don’t dumb down our planning professionalism. The future scenarios for planning, architecture, engineering students are important. Un-doing 30years of planning professionalism is an indictment on Queensland and an insult to the designing, planning and development professions. Opportunity for collective learning and innovation to encompass challenges and future trends. Don’t lose our identity in Queensland. The draft in current form SSPP might spell that loss. Beware the Status Quo of vested interests. They may not be mindful of the bigger picture. Conduct an audit of existing planning system to determine the positives and negatives before we introduce any more new plans that do not learnfrom the past. Ad Hoc decision making caused harm in the past – let’s learn from that. (Maher, 2007) (The Deputy Premier and Minister for
  9. 9. Single State Planning Policy (SSPP) Submission By Friends of South East Queensland (FOSEQ)Final - 12 June 2013 page 9 friends@envirobusiness.orgRegional Planning, 2008) Unintended consequences are civil disobedience, circuit breakers, divestment, non-violent resistance, conscientiousobjection, tree sitting, etc Consider a framework and design tools to inform better planning policy and recommend co-design with citizens for the future of Queensland.Design Blindness Vs Net Positive DevelopmentThe current state government has been considered to have design blindness despite efforts by academia, professional bodies and communities toactively communicate, engage and participate in governance matters since April 2012. There are minimised opportunities to engage as Minsters areless available, proposed policy changes are not available for public consultation, parliamentary committee hearings have limited lead time forsubmissions ( from 4 hours to 2 weeks), and big changes appear out of context for people who are used to playing an active role in how Queensland isgoverned. (Birkeland, 2008) (Chief Justice Robert French AC, 2013)The future is not what happens to us – “The Future is something we create” (L Sweet; I Lowe.) The state government has a choice to design a brilliantopportunity to create a future for all to survive; or it can push yesterday’s vested interests blind to the emerging trends and challenges. Designing abrighter future might entail a net-positive outcome with development scenarios tested for appropriateness. The following evolution of thinking showsthe progress towards the built environment from 1960 to 2020, which should be the focus for the draft SSPP. (Birkeland, 2012)
  10. 10. Single State Planning Policy (SSPP) Submission By Friends of South East Queensland (FOSEQ)Final - 12 June 2013 page 10 friends@envirobusiness.orgFuture plans for QueenslandThere are grave concerns about the government’s direction. The Queensland plan processes are less than consultative. SARA raises concerns for FOSEQmembers. There is unrest in the communities within SEQ.
  11. 11. Single State Planning Policy (SSPP) Submission By Friends of South East Queensland (FOSEQ)Final - 12 June 2013 page 11 friends@envirobusiness.orgReferencesBerry, T. (Ed.). (2006). Ten Principles for Jurisprudence Revision. San Francisco: Sierra Club Books.Birkeland, J. (2008). Positive Development: from vicious circles to virtuous cycles through built environment design. Cronwall: Earthscan UK.Birkeland, J. (2012). Design blindness in sustainable development: From closed to open systems design thinking. Journal of Urban Design, 17(2), 163-187.doi: 10.1080/13574809.2012.666209Brundtland, G. (1987). Report of the World Commission on environment and development: Our common future (pp. 1-300). Oslo Norway: WorldCommission on Environment and Development.Chief Justice Robert French AC. (2013). Property, Planning and Human Rights Planning Institute of Australia, National Congress. Paper presented at the 2013PIA National Congress, Canberra.Coghill, K. (Ed.). (2012). Fiduciary Duty and the Atmospheric Trust. Melbourne: Ashgate.Coghill, K., Sampford, C., & Smith, T. (2012). Rulers’ Duties to Our Environment? Fiduciary Duty and the Atmospheric Trust (pp. 1-8). Surrey, England:Ashgate Publishing Limited.Commonwealth Foundation. (2009). Civil Society Accountability: Principles and Practice A toolkit for civil society organisations in the Pacific region (pp. 1-95).CSIRO. (2008). Comparision "Limits to Growth" to 30 years of reality. Canberra: Australian government.Department of Infrastructure and Planning. (2010). Queensland Growth Management Summit CommuniqueDr Chris McGrath. (2011). Synopsis of the Queensland Environmental Legal System. Brisbane: Environmental Law Publishing.Ecologically Sustainable Development Steering Committee. (1992). National Strategy for Ecologically Sustainable Development (pp. 808). Canberra: Councilof Australian Govenments (COAG).Eminent Persons Group. (2011). A Commonwealth of the people - Time for urgent reform (pp. 1-206). London UK.Eminent Persons Group CHOGM. (2012). Annex 2 A Draft Charter of the Commonwealth (pp. 9). Perth: CHOGM.England, P. (2011). Sustainable planning in queensland: Federation Press.George (Rock) Pring & Catherine (Kitty) Pring. (2009). Greening Justice - creating and improving environmental courts and tribunals (ISBN: 978-0-615-33883-5Library of Congress Control Number: 2009913166 ed.): World Resources Institute.ICE Coalition. (2011). SDG 2012 Environmental Institutions for the 21st Century: An International Court for the EnvironmentJackson, T. (2009). Prosperity without growth? - The transition to a sustainable economy (pp. 5-13). UK: Sustainable Development Commission.Littleboy, A., Hajkowicz, S., Moody, J., Parsons, R., & Wilhelmseder, L. (2012a). Signposts for Queensland: An analysis for future pathways A report for theQueensland Government Department of Employment Economic Development and Innovation prepared in collaboration with the Office of theQueensland Chief Scientist (pp. 48). Canberra: CSIRO.
  12. 12. Single State Planning Policy (SSPP) Submission By Friends of South East Queensland (FOSEQ)Final - 12 June 2013 page 12 friends@envirobusiness.orgLittleboy, A., Hajkowicz, S., Moody, J., Parsons, R., & Wilhelmseder, L. (2012b). Signposts for Queensland: An analysis of future pathways A report for theQueensland Government Department of Employment Economic Development and Innovation prepared in collaboration with the Office of theQueensland Chief Scientist (pp. 1-48). Canberra: CSIRO.Maher, M. (Ed.). (2007). The contribution of Geoff McDonalds leadership, scholarship and imagination to environmental planning milestones. Canberra:Planning Institute of Australia.Paul Finn (Ed.). (1995). The Forgotten Trust: The People and The State. Sydney: Federation Press.Planning Institute of Australia. (2013). Journal of the Queensland planning profession Autumn 2013. [Queensland Planner]. Queensland Planner – Autumn2013, 53(1), 40.Queensland Government. (2009). Sustainable Planning Act 2009.The Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional Planning. (2008). SEQ State of the Region Technical Report 2008. Brisbane: Queensland Government.UN Habitat. (2011). Global report on human settlements 2011 Cities and climate change: Policy directionsUNEP. (2011). Keeping track of our changing environment From Rio to Rio+20 (1992-2012)UNEP. (2012). 21 Issues for the 21st Century - Results of the UNEP Foresight Process on Emerging Environmental Issues. In J. Alcamo & S. A. Leonard (Eds.).Nairobi, Kenya: UNEP.Earth Charter Declaration (1972 Aug 2002).United Nations, & ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability. (2012). The Rio+20 Global Town Hall: The local government forum at the Rio+20 UnitedNations Conference on Sustainable Development Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (pp. 1-8). Rio De Janiero: UnitedNations.UNU. (2011). World Risk Report 2011.Williams, K. J., Dunlop, M., Bustamante, R. H., Murphy, H. T., Ferrier, S., Wise, R. M., . . . Booth, T. (2012). Queensland’s biodiversity under climate change:impacts and adaptation – synthesis report. Brisbane: CSIRO.
  13. 13. Single State Planning Policy (SSPP) Submission By Friends of South East Queensland (FOSEQ)Final - 12 June 2013 page 13 friends@envirobusiness.orgAppendices:Video of J. Michael Kirby http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kEG4Kl-HzcU&list=PLqVTY47NZOn62WtRQFFuU5mf-HmXW-HFK&index=3Published on Jun 12, 2013 Thomson Reuters Australia interviewed the Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG on May 23rd at his Chambers. We discussed the studyof interpretation and the new The Laws of Australia book, Interpretation and Use of Legal sources- The Laws of Australia which was described by MichaelKirby as "the key that unlocks the door to the meaning of law".COMMENTS on the Single State Planning Policy (shared in 25 May session) The inclusion of all State Interests into a single State planning policy (SPP) is supported as a step forward in reforming the States planningsystem. However the introduction refers to “state interests and related policies that local government must take into account” …. While immediatelycountering that the “State may consider’. Then (on the same page) the SPP becomes “a key framework” The different response (state and localgovernment) and the varied description serves to reinforce community concerns that the planning is designed for and by planners. The later referenceto transparency and ease of use lose credibility given the introductory paragraphs.. The document is in need of a comprehensive edit. The different sections still (as per the original draft) read as an amalgam rather than a coherentdocument. The meanings of the same words in different sections are not consistent (e.g. development).and there are changes in person (first to thirdand back again) in adjacent paragraphs wrt to the same topic. There are too many sentences of 30-40 plus words and most are highly“parenthesised”. Combined the writing style makes the document a likely minefield for interpretation. For lay people understanding the documentrequires and appreciation of nuance or prior knowledge. Such pre-requisites mean the document falls well short of the ideals it espouses. Furtherexamples include reference that the objectives of the SPP “are to be followed”, yet the next sentence prescribes the objectives “are a guide” and inthe same paragraph “appropriately reflected”. The later reference to “ease of user readability”, such seems defeated in the early sections. An editshould help. A whole section in the body of the document concerned with “numbered and Bulleted lists” is patronising to readers generally and probably plannersspecifically. The implementation strategy referring to planning instruments are transparent, easily understood .and support defensible…and logical developmenthas not been achieved in the document itself. More work is needed. The Sustainable Planning Act seeks to achieve ecological sustainability and this is a balance that integrates: the protection of ecological processes;economic development; and maintenance of wellbeing of people and communities. The tone and wording of the draft SPP is not a balance, that is“reflecting” of this “contextualisation” as the natural environment (and social outcomes) are given less weight than economic outcomes. This isevident in the weak wording of the State interests (eg encourage v provide for long term growth, or grow tourism v “are valued and appropriately
  14. 14. Single State Planning Policy (SSPP) Submission By Friends of South East Queensland (FOSEQ)Final - 12 June 2013 page 14 friends@envirobusiness.orgsafeguarded” and so on. This approach is well short of contemporary or best practice. Protection of the natural environment in line with nationallyagreed ecologically sustainable development protocols not even mentioned. The SPP infers that the natural environment equates to biodiversity, an ecosystems services approach might be a more appropriateframework. Recent work in SEQ even links ecosystem services to the constituents of wellbeing, a level of sophistication that the Single SPP shouldaspire to. These oversights and deficiencies should be rectified in the final SPP if an appropriate balance is the intent. The Interactive Mapping System is welcome but the data layers are dated and in need of significant investment to ensure that GIGO is overcome.These data sets should have been completed and available as part of the consultation phase. The draft SPP overstates outcomes of a planning scheme. A PS can only regulate new development as defined under SPA. As such, the references tolocal planning instruments should be tempered, including the following examples: ‘maximising the use of government land suitable for infill and redevelopment (page 14) – this is difficult for local governments to achieve twrtCommonwealth and State owned land. ‘actively encourage opportunities for tourism’ and ‘support tourism orientated development’ – how might the active be achieved and isn’t thismore the role of a prospectus or marketing plan ‘protecting species’ –a scheme can identify native species habitat to be protected or habitat to be reconnected, which might contribute toprotecting species, the lack of specifics is a concern. Under healthy waters the reference to “constructed, and operated” seems an overstatement of the role (ie overstretch) of a PS The Glossary provides detail definitions of some discrete and specific issues but fails to define key concepts like: “liveable communities”, “amenity”,“community wellbeing”, “green space” (sic), ‘environmental sustainability” (v ecological sustainability), “anticipated lifestyles” and (VIP) “prosperous”,“social wellbeing” Why is protecting green space and ensuring no net loss of Greenspace qualified as “where possible”. This places a weighting on this aspect comparedto other elements which rightly are all a matter of balance RLOSAC recommends the term Greenspace rather than green space, given it is not the colour but rather the planning for community open space that isbeing referred to (see the Queensland Greenspace Strategy). The reference to promoting good urban design, invokes that poor or bad urban design would be a deliberate choice. The word “good” is a cop out andno place in the document. The implementation strategy of “maximising” community engagement is surely a sop, with the best intent maximising such an approach would be(rightly) a step too far. The implementation strategy intending to ensure planning instruments are transparent, easily understood and support defensible and logicaldevelopment is defied in the frequent use of planners jargon (“trigger”, “reflect”, “underpin”, appropriately reflected”, “contextualisie” etc perpetuatemany of the faults of the previous planning approach), verbosity (eg the many sentences that are about 40 words long) and confusing descriptions (eg
  15. 15. Single State Planning Policy (SSPP) Submission By Friends of South East Queensland (FOSEQ)Final - 12 June 2013 page 15 friends@envirobusiness.orgthe sentence p6 “when consistent…….local community” is a 50 word descriptor which undermines the concept of transparency . Inclusion of cultural heritage is welcome but a specific reference to indigenous cultural heritage as an inclusion would give the document morecredence as a “State” SPP The logic and expression of the SPP is of concern. Poor use of good better best wrt to outcomes is poor expression; another example refers to “thelocal planning …..is to reflect the SPP for this state interest by: considering…” Surely that level of compliance is almost a given for anything...”consider”gives no assurance to the reader. The lack of reference to natural resource management, values based planning and well established landscape values (see the SEQ Regional Plan) isdisappointing. Here are many paragraphs that are convoluted and confusing. A complete assessment is a big task but examples include the repetitive and confused(p52) “inappropriate and inconsistent planning and development decisions within…that fail to appropriately consider….can result in direct and indirectimpacts that may lead to detrimental health and safety, economic and environmental outcomes. This is clumsy, repetitive and awkward. Of concern isthat such examples indicate clumsy expression which might “reflect” the thinking used to develop the document. Development is an aspect of both “land development” and “development and construction”, while context could explain the difference neither isdefined (again while minor and specifics are referred to in the glossary). Internal consistency would be appreciated. “Appropriately” and “appropriate” are used to describe outcomes but there is not definition, explanation or measure. In the State interest –miningand extractive industry the term is used to describe the state interest. A related concern is the sentence “These locations are often also subject toencroachment from sensitive land uses” which on the face of it seems to be a reversal of an accepted onus of development’ The Coastal environment is described (P27) inclusive of the terms “aesthetic values” and “scenic amenity” yet neither are defined. RLOSAC researchmight inform the authors that people value “high scenic amenity” above all other landscape values, the reference to “development maximisesopportunities to maintain or enhance natural scenic amenity values…” is at odds with that research.
  16. 16. Single State Planning Policy (SSPP) Submission By Friends of South East Queensland (FOSEQ)Final - 12 June 2013 page 16 friends@envirobusiness.orgExtracts: Shared Governance for Sustainable Development ( 2011)In Queensland Australia, with urban development the process commences with a party drawing up a structured proposal (sometimes completed by privatesector alone, occasionally with residents groups as a community negotiated plan and in SEQ four new cities submitted by an Urban Land DevelopmentAuthority).(Department of Infrastructure and Planning, 2010) The proposal passes through several development assessments for approval by authorisedand referral agencies, while generally advertised for public objections to be lodged. Then Local Government announces as an approval with conditions or arefusal.If the development is refused, the proponent can appeal through the Planning and Environment Court, and all the community objectors are invited to argueagainst the development in court along with the agencies that refused the original proposals. (Queensland Government, 2009) In Queensland, developerswho thought they were “preliminarily approved” many years prior by then local authority (maybe previous councillors) can sue for injurious affection,where the council may be directed by the court to reimburse costs of the developer out of ratepayer’s funds. Queensland is the last jurisdiction that such anarchaic law remains.However, Court processes were reformed over the past decade “Greening the Courtroom” (George (Rock) Pring & Catherine (Kitty) Pring, 2009), withalternative dispute resolution processes that allow all parties to provide expert witnesses on each topic of contention and all persons statements, and allowall parties to argue issues of concern to mediate resolutions where possible, with confidentiality. (Dr Chris McGrath, 2011) If the parties cannot agree a wayforward with ADR, joint witness statements then define the matters listed for a full hearing. The judges are charged with the responsibility to make adecision in the best interests of the community. The greater public good can be determined in many ways, so it is up to the parties and experts to articulatewhat is in the best public interest. The judge’s decision on an appeal is final.So what governance systems do we rely upon? Local Government: Town planning, urban design principles, neighbourhood planning instruments, outcomes of community consultations State: Regional planning with 12 sustainability principles that care for cumulative impacts of developments over scarce and valued resources. Federal: Capital City Plans, Water Acts, and Environmental Protection and Conservation Act, Carbon Farming Initiative under federal government. Community groups to argue the highest values and “in the public interest”. This includes neighbourhood advocates, church groups, environmentalists,progress associations, water catchment associations and regional bodies. Professional Bodies that update members of changing laws, systems and professional education in order to provide well informed expert witnesses whocan be cross examined effectively without losing respect. Academia so young professionals are prepared for the real world experience. Westminster system:o Legislative arm that makes law based on desirable objectives and principles;o Executive arm that implements systems to support the law, ando Judicial (and independent appeal system) arm that exercises the role of reviewing decisions made in order to ensure the spirit of the law isupheld.

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