Flinders Shire Council Planning Scheme
The Flinders Shire Planning Scheme has been prepared under the provisions of Chapter 2 of the Integrated Planning Act, 1997 (the "Act") and applies to the Local Government area of Flinders Shire Council.
The Planning Scheme is intended to:
(a) Advance the purpose of the Act in seeking to achieve ecological sustainability;
(b) Regulate development including providing a basis for assessing development applications within the Flinders Shire.
The Planning Scheme has been prepared to manage development in a way that advances the purpose of the Act1 by:
(a) Identifying assessable, self-assessable and exempt development; and
(b) Identifying the outcomes sought to be achieved in the Local Government area as the context for assessing development.
PLANNING SCHEME SCOPING STUDY
The Flinders Shire Planning Scheme commenced in 2005. Under the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 a local authority must review its planning scheme every 10 years.
This Scoping Study has been prepared to inform the preparation of a new Planning Scheme for Flinders Shire. This new Planning Scheme is an important document for Council, and the Council is very keen to utilise it as a proactive visionary document to encourage development and re-energise the Shire.
In recent years, Flinders Shire has faced a number of setbacks, including the drought, collapse of the sheep industry and the recent closure of the rail maintenance facility. The population has dropped by 189 (9.37%) between 2003 and 2013 (Australian Bureau of Statistics 2014).
In response, Council is alternatively pursuing opportunities to bring business and development into the Shire, including locating the potential North Queensland meat works in Hughenden, development of irrigation based intensive agriculture, and community development designed to maintain and enhance the liveability of the Shire.
This report provides an overview of the Shire, a summary of consultation undertaken during the Scoping Study, examines relevant literature and the current Planning Scheme, and outlines a draft vision for Flinders Shire.
From stakeholder consultation it is very clear that Flinders Shire has a proud and proactive community, keen to develop and promote the Shire. Participants were well aware of the challenges facing their community and are supportive of measures to bring more people, business and employment to the Shire.
With respect to the current Planning Scheme, it has served as a sound land use planning document to date. However, the current Scheme requires a major overhaul to bring it into compliance with the latest planning legislation and to ensure it assists Council to realise the vision for Flinders Shire.
A draft vision for the Shire has been developed: ‘A proactive and innovative regional community that will lead the next stage of development in North West Queensland, while preserving the friendly nature and strong community spirit Flinders Shire is known for'.
Council will shortly be undertaking the preparation of a new Planning Scheme for the Shire which will involve wide public consultation.