An aerial view of Stockland's new Aura subdivision taking shape at Caloundra South.
An aerial view of Stockland's new Aura subdivision taking shape at Caloundra South. Contributed

Labor plans to add two million people to south-east corner

A DEPARTMENT of Local Government planning forum held at Caloundra on the weekend has been criticised as having pre-determined outcomes which would eventually see "packing and stacking" of population to the point core community values were lost.

The Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning says discussions and ideas from the Sunshine Coast community and others like it would help shape the Queensland Government's planning blueprint for the future of South East Queensland.  

It says in the next 25 years the south east, including the Sunshine Coast would look very different.

In that time the department says around two million additional people would be living in South East Queensland with the requirement for another 900,000 homes.

Downsizing would occur as the over 65 population doubled by 2041.

"We need to plan for these changes and, as a result, the Queensland Government is currently revising the South East Queensland regional plan,'' a spokesperson said.

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However ratepayer organisations and the Environmental Defenders Office argue there is no genuine consultation where pre-determined outcomes exist.

OSCAR president Ian Christesen described the process as a "joke" saying by going to the community with a plan for two million additional people the only choice it was being given was in how to "stack and pack".

He said the government should be asking communities about the shape, look and feel they want for their areas not dictating numbers.

"This is a bad version of last week's episode of Utopia (an ABC satirical comedy),'' Mr Christesen said.

"The rhetoric is the same old stuff we have heard for the past 30 years. And its without any measurement of the cost of population growth which has led to the current level of government debt and the need for new hospitals, highways and schools.

"There are other models for proper economic growth that don't involve stacking and packing.''

Jo Bragg, principal lawyer for the Environmental Defenders Office said growth levels should be determined by community values and what they wish to achieve.

"All of it should be up for debate,'' Ms Bragg said.

"People have seen through the Queensland focus on squashing people in rather than the use of prescriptive measures to protect values.

"It's great to get people together but hard choices need to be made to protect values people love about the Coast and its character.

"The Sunshine Coast clearly wants those values protected.''