Solidarity as heavyweights fight for fairness

Written on the 8 October 2009

A CAUCUS of development industry leaders will target all levels of government in South-East Queensland to help fix the region’s vast infrastructure challenges.

Sustainable Development Gold Coast Inc (SDGCI) recently convened the Turning Point 2010 event on the Gold Coast and called for a united single purpose summit.

SDGCI president Greg Short, is challenging Gold Coast City Council to stand up and show some vital leadership as the region prepares for a population surge totaling one million by the 2020s.

“We want to see council make the necessary changes that will assist in jobs creation for the industry,” says Short, managing director of Bennett & Bennett surveying and planning consultancy.

Short says bureaucrats in local and state government sectors find it conveniently easier to ‘palm off’ individual organisation approaches for planning reforms.

“Resulting from a decision taken from the floor at the conference, SDGCI is writing to all other industry-connected bodies and suggesting that it’s time for a more cohesive and targeted approach to common problems,” says Short.

“We are suggesting that all key players representing a massive multibillion-dollar a year industry in South East Queensland come together initially at a pre-determined summit. Firstly to agree on a joint cooperative effort under a yet to be determined banner and then to develop a single united campaign strategy co-funded by all groups.

“Individually we have different organisations approaching government planning decisions and inherent problems from the viewpoint of their own members alone when if all the resources, research and issues were brought together in a single arrow head it would be harder for local councils, state and federal governments to dismiss or delay action on such common concerns.”

SDGCI was formed in 2007. The organisation is pushing for national and state bodies such as the Property Council of Australia, Master Builders Association, Housing Industry Association, Urban Development Institute of Australia, Real Estate Institute of Queensland and the Planning Institute of Australia to unify an approach.

Short believes a unified approach may also assist in GCCC undertaking an economic impact study for its current infrastructure fee system.

“This in no way detracts from the day to day work done by these organisations for their members but affords greater strength to approach councils and State departments and politicians on matters of common concern,” says Short.

“SDGCI is asking them to agree to a joint meeting at which a single campaign umbrella body can be agreed upon, nominating a chairman, identifying the most urgent common interest issues that need action and setting out a plan to achieve its goals.”

Political powerbroker and former Brisbane mayor Jim Soorley, lashed out at bureaucrats at all levels of governance and in a passionate and sometimes colourful address claimed that governance in Queensland is finished until someone stands up to bureaucrats to enforce action.


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