Agriculture, Food and Regional Economies
Surat Basin Future Direction Statement delivers
Minister for Agriculture, Food and Regional Economies Tim Mulherin said practical priorities for the future of the Surat region have been delivered with the release of the Surat Basin Future Directions Statement Final Report.
Mr Mulherin said a year on from the release of the Surat Basin Future Direction Statement we have delivered a series of initiatives that address the challenges and opportunities stemming from the new multibillion dollar energy industry.
"The Surat Basin is currently experiencing growth unlike any other region of Queensland, largely due to the expanding energy and resource sector," Mr Mulherin said.
"These initiatives will ensure we manage this growth to ensure this boom region continues to be a place where people want to live, work and raise a family.
"We have delivered a series of headline initiatives that address the challenges and opportunities stemming from the new multibillion dollar energy industry" he said.
"From the beginning we have been determined to learn from our experiences in the Bowen Basin and improve our approaches to the pressures of fast growing communities.
"We did this by ensuring all stakeholders have a say in the Surat Basin's future direction and have planned for the challenges together.
"We are conscience government needs to maintain a balance between future economic benefits and protection of the environment, quality of life and landholder rights," he said.
This collaborative approach between community, industry and Government has resulted in clear strategies to address the critical needs of the Surat Basin region including:
- planning and settlement patterns
- economic development
- skilled labour and workforce development
- housing availability
- strategic cropping land
- land access and coal seam gas water management
- social impact management plans
Mr Mulherin said these practical strategies provide an effective framework to guide the Government and our regional partners in responding to the needs of the region.
"The strength of this achievement is in the collaboration and effective community consultation undertaken on planning the future of the Surat Basin region," Mr Mulherin said.
"In the last year there has been extensive progress in development of these strategies through this collaborative process, resulting in a direction which is truly representative of the Surat region.
"I am particularly appreciative of the input and advice offered from the local mayors: Cr Ray Brown of the Western Downs Regional Council, Cr Robert Loughnan of Maranoa Regional Council, Cr John Hooper of Banana Shire Council and Cr Peter Taylor from the Toowoomba Regional Council," he said.
Western Downs Regional Council Mayor and Chair of the Surat Basin Future Directions Statement Steering Committee, Ray Brown, echoed Minister Mulherin's sentiments.
"The Surat Basin Future Direction Statement Steering Committee includes members from local government, industry, agriculture, major employers, unions and the Commonwealth Government," Mr Brown said.
"It has been an effective guiding force in a process that has created a genuine consultative approach in the delivery of the Surat Basin Future Directions Statement."
The Surat Basin Future Directions Statement covers the local government areas of Toowoomba, Western Downs and Maranoa, with strong linkages through Banana to Gladstone.
For more information on the Surat Basin Future Directions Statement visit www.regions.qld.gov.au