Plan to guide region's growth

A NEW 20-year plan released yesterday is to provide a blueprint for the Wide Bay Burnett region’s social and economic development.

Treasurer and Regional Planning Minister for the Wide Bay Burnett Andrew Fraser said the plan would strike the right balance between managing population growth and maintaining the lifestyle residents in the region enjoyed.

“Queensland is the growth state and, with more than half of our population residing outside of the capital, it is important that we have a statutory framework in places like the Wide Bay Burnett Regional Plan to guide sustainable growth,” Mr Fraser said.

“The current Wide Bay Burnett population of 287,000 is expected to climb to 433,500 by 2031, making it the second largest growing region in Queensland.”

But Mr Fraser said slow growth in one area compared to rapid growth in neighbouring areas presented different sets of challenges as well as opportunities.

“For example the Fraser Coast is predicted to need an additional 21,900 dwellings, whereas the South Burnett is expected to need another 5000,” he said.

“This only goes to show the importance of good planning now.”

Mr Fraser said the plan provided a co-ordinated approach to planning, infrastructure and services to manage the differing growth levels across the region.

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