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Brisbane 28 June 2013. Central Queensland’s important agriculture land will be protected, while there will be opportunities for resources sector growth and co-existence, under the draft Central Queensland Regional Plan.

The draft plan was released today for public consultation until late September.

Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Jeff Seeney said the purpose of the draft plan is to provide additional protection for strategic areas of the region.

“Central Queensland is one of the most prosperous regions in the state with strong mining interests, and accounted for nearly $21 billion of the state’s economy in 2010-2011,” Mr Seeney said.

“It has a strong agricultural base and a well-established resource sector and these powerful economic sectors coupled with the significant investment in major infrastructure corridors will continue to drive the state's economy.

“The draft Central Queensland Regional Plan seeks to address land use conflicts between agriculture and mining – two vital pillars of the Queensland economy.

“The previous Government’s Strategic Cropping Land Legislation failed to protect the most important agricultural land uses, was overly burdensome for resource developments and had adverse consequences for landholders.

“The Strategic Cropping Land legislation will be reviewed and amended to facilitate the implementation of the new regional plan and processes will be streamlined to remove unintended consequences for landholders.

Mr Seeney said the draft plan protected the region’s ‘priority agricultural land uses’ by defining the key criteria that would need to be met in order for agriculture and resources development to successfully co-exist within mapped ‘priority agriculture areas’.

“We also want to protect the future of towns in the region by mapping priority living areas and identifying infrastructure opportunities in the area,” he said.

“This plan heralds a new generation of planning in Queensland aiming to balance the relationship between competing state interests in the region.”

The Central Queensland Regional Plan includes Rockhampton, Gladstone and Central Highlands Regional Councils and Banana Shire Council and Woorabinda Aboriginal Shire Council and represents 6.8 per cent of the total area of Queensland.

Consultation on the plan is open until Friday 20 September 2013. To access the plan and have your say go to http://www.dsdip.qld.gov.au/central-queensland

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