Implementation and outcomes key to success
POSITIVE development of a longneglected but strategic part of Townsville can be achieved through the declaration of a Priority Development Area in the CBD, property industry leader John Carey says.
However, it was not so much the planning instrument that was important but the way in which it was implemented and the outcomes it provided, he said.
Mr Carey, the chair of the Townsville committee of the Prop- erty Council of Australia, was commenting on the release of the draft development scheme by the State Government, Townsville City Council and Port of Townsville.
The draft scheme, now out for public comment, covers 97ha of land on the southern side of Ross Creek from the railway station to the port. PDAs, declared under an act of Parliament, allow for the uses of sites to be identified and their approval fast- tracked, avoiding many of the risks associated with property development.
“The PDA is an important plan- ning string in the bow but it is the manner in which it is implemented and driven which is of most importance,” Mr Carey said.
“It needs to be championed and it needs to be given priority.”
The property council hosted Redlands City Mayor Karen Williams at an event in Townsville last month where Cr Williams provided an overview of Redland’s experience with the Toondah Harbour and Weinam Creek PDAs.
Mr Carey said the examples at Redlands highlighted the importance of good community consul- tation to get the details right. “They did a lengthy community consultation process,” Mr Carey said.
“It was a matter of finding out exactly what the community wanted and saying to a developer this is what you have to do. It’s so easy it just might work.”
Mr Carey said land on the southern side of Ross Creek was a long- neglected area of Townsville but it was also strategic given its location adjacent to the city centre.
“Declaring a PDA is a good step, they are a powerful planning instrument,” Mr Carey said.