Stephen Andrew and Justin Peel addressing residents at a community meeting in Ilbilbie, held to discuss the ramifications of the Isaac Regional Council's new planning scheme.
Stephen Andrew and Justin Peel addressing residents at a community meeting in Ilbilbie, held to discuss the ramifications of the Isaac Regional Council's new planning scheme. Madura McCormack

Coastal plan fears escalate, town hall meeting packs out

UNREST amongst residents impacted by the Isaac Regional Council's proposed overhaul of its planning scheme is growing, with dozens packing out the Ilbilbie Town Hall on the weekend fearing the future of their coastal landholdings.

More than a hundred residents of a 400 metre coastal strip at Carmila, and a 4km stretch in Clairview could be rezoned 'limited development' in the council's new scheme, which has been designed to comply with a new portion of the State Planning Policy.

The SPP is the pre-eminent document for deciding what can be built where in Queensland.

A key theme of the SPP is to make communities resilient against natural disasters and hazards brought on by climate change.

Karen Hindle, who owns land in Carmila, said the domino effect of the zoning is "very concerning".

"If you start devaluing land and putting restrictions on what they build and where they can build, that means nobody wants to come here," she said. "If we don't have people living in our smaller communities, it's going to die.

"We're going to start losing services, losing schools, because who wants to come and live if you can't build?'

Director of Mackay company Development Applications and Approvals Justin Peel said if he owned land affected by the new scheme, he would definitely be in that room.

"I think the people that are going to be affected by that need to understand what the implications are," he said.

"And that prior to it being implemented in a planning, that other avenues for addressing risk of hazards should be investigated before.

"Because it will have a pretty significant impact on people developing the land in the future and also their property values."

Bill Frier, owner of the BarraCrab caravan park in Clairview, said not enough work has been done on the impact of the new zoning by both levels of government.

"One thing that impacts anything more that anything is that the flood and inundation mapping that they have is not correct. It's a blanket (map) that's been thrown over the area. Future long-term ramifications are massive when you are looking at redeveloping a house, redeveloping anything, or doing business," he said.

"Mackay Regional Council, if they implement the same as [Isaac council] do here, the city heart would be gone, South Mackay would be gone, East Mackay would be gone."

Isaac Mayor Anne Baker said the council had been working with the State Government to clarify issues raised by ratepayers and is undertaking its own research and gathering localised data.

"We appreciate there is a feeling in the community that the mapping developed by the State does not reflect their personal experience or historic understanding of the hazards created by flooding, tidal surges and other natural events," she said.

"The outcome of this body of work may ultimately endorse or contradict the existing hazard mapping of the State. Until this local mapping is completed and validated, the existing mapping of the State will apply. "State Planning Policy and, by extension, Council's planning scheme is intended to help to guide development over the coming decades."

Two community consultations are scheduled in Carmila and Clairvew for Wednesday.

Timeline: Isaac Regional Council planning scheme debate

July 16, Proposed planning scheme released

Community consultation opens on Isaac Regional Council's first planning scheme since amalgamation.

July 25, First concerns raised

Coastal land holders first raise concerns regarding the scheme. The "Limited Development Zone" appears of particular concern.

July 30, Carmila meeting

Mayor Anne Baker, councillors and staff, front dozens of ratepayers at Carmila. Many questions are taken on notice with the council committing to come back with answers after consulting with the state government. In total, there's nearly 20 consultation meetings across the region regarding the planning scheme.

August 22, Council fact check

Isaac Regional Council releases a brochure answering a slew of residents questions, including if a house can be rebuilt after a natural disaster, if residents can build on vacant land and if insurance premiums will rise as a consequence of the limited development zone.

August 30, Petition launched

Mirani MP Stephen Andrew lodges and sponsors a formal petition with the State Government, noting the "detrimental effects" on residents through increased insurance premiums, restrictive development, and possible loss of investment. The petition had garnered 252 votes online at last count, with at least a hundred more on paper. The petition closes on November 9.

September 15, Ilbilbie town hall meeting

Dozens of residents pack in for a meeting called by Mirani MP Stephen Andrew, in a bid to work out an action plan. Fears around the scheme gather steam, with a prominent Mackay town planner and businessman voicing concerns.

September 19, Carmila and Clairview consultations

Isaac Regional Council representatives are expected to attend community consultation sessions at Clairview, from 3pm-4pm at Clairview Park, and Carmila, from 6pm-7pm at the Memorial Hall.

October 5, Submissions close

The extended opportunity for ratepayers to submit feedback on the draft scheme to the council is due to finish.