Population growth is killing Redlands, says community group

GROWTH TOO MUCH: Redland Bay resident Ron Ferrari in front of units being built near his home. He says too much growth has made traffic unmanageable and is ruining the suburb.
GROWTH TOO MUCH: Redland Bay resident Ron Ferrari in front of units being built near his home. He says too much growth has made traffic unmanageable and is ruining the suburb.

A LOCAL community group has lashed out at the state government over its draft South East Queensland Regional Plan, saying it will change the Redlands lifestyle for ever.

The Community Alliance for Responsible Planning has conducted a city-wide letterbox drop, appealing to residents to make a submission.

It says the Redlands population will be massively increased under the plan before basic infrastructure like roads, transport, community facilities and jobs are in place.

It says the government is responding to development industry pressure and plans to have 5.35 million people in the region by 2041, which was bigger than Sydney.

In Redlands, the draft plan required a 25 per cent increase in population to reach a presumed target of 188,000.

This meant 38,000 more people needing 21,100 dwellings and about 31,000 more cars. Of the dwellings, 14,400 were to be squeezed as infill into existing back yards and urban areas and 6700 were to be built on green open space.

CARP spokeswoman Lavinia Wood said the Redlands was already under huge stress.

“For 15 years Redlands people ... made it very clear we want to define the limits of urban expansion and population growth,’’ Ms Wood said.

This was made clear in a range of planning submissions, right up to the current draft Redland city plan.

“We can stabilise our population and take this demand for housing pressure off immediately,’’ she said. “It is simply a federal government policy decision.’’

The flyer says roads are clogged and train and bus services are inadequate.

Redland Bay resident Ron Ferrari agreed, saying the liveability of his suburb had been destroyed by rampant population growth and residents should protest against the issue.

“If you try to drive out of Redland Bay in the mornings, it’s impossible,’’ he said. “With approvals for units at Redland Bay and others at Weinam Creek, it will only get worse. It’s ridiculous.’’

A spokesperson for Deputy Premier Jackie Trad said the plan was about managing growth in a responsible and sustainable way that preserved lifestyles.

“It seeks to protect biodiversity, including important koala habitat, by focusing growth in the urban footprint,’’ she said.

She said it was developed through consultation with community, industry stakeholders, environmental reference groups and councils and further consultation was underway.

CARP’s flyer says Redlands population growth should stop until roads and transport systems were provided.

It says tree clearing is threatening koalas and other wildlife and koala numbers had to be stabilised and increasing before more population levels were considered.

“All our major problems are due to having more people than the natural and man-made resources can support,’’ it says.

Submissions can be made at: http://www.shapingseq.com.au/