For many years the people of this region, supported by local councils, have argued for the protection of the inter-urban break between the Sunshine Coast and Moreton Bay.
The Moreton Bay to Sunshine Coast Regional inter-urban break (PDF, 524KB) is a non-urban area which roughly follows the boundary of the Pumicestone Passage catchment.
The inter-urban break includes:
- the Glass House Mountains
- the Pumicestone Passage and parts of Bribie Island, and
- small townships of Elimbah, Beerburrum and Glass House Mountains.
The South East Queensland (SEQ) Regional Plan 2009-2031 protects the Moreton Bay to Sunshine Coast Regional inter-urban break as a valuable non-urban space separating Greater Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast. The State government commenced a review of the SEQ regional plan in 2014. It is understood the State government has previously considered potential growth areas within the inter-urban break around the upgraded Elimbah rail station and at Halls Creek.
Moreton Bay Regional Council and Sunshine Coast Council have raised concerns about development of new, large urban areas in the inter-urban break. Both councils can accommodate growth to 2041 without impacting on the inter-urban break (refer to Sunshine Coast Council submission to SEQ regional plan review).
Joint council submission
Moreton Bay Regional Council and Sunshine Coast Council wrote (PDF 2279KB) to the then Deputy Premier, Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning on 3 December 2014 to highlight the importance and values of the inter-urban break.
The joint submission confirms Moreton Bay Regional Council and Sunshine Coast Council’s commitment to the protection of the Moreton Bay to Sunshine Coast Regional Inter-urban Break in its current state. It seeks the state government’s commitment to mapping and protecting this space in any revised SEQ regional plan.
Key findings of council investigations
The key findings of the investigations carried out by Moreton Bay Regional Council and Sunshine Coast Council are that the regional inter-urban break in its current size and extent:
- makes a contribution of more than $5 billion to the SEQ economy with significant opportunity for higher contributions in the future
- provides an invaluable tourism opportunity for SEQ which could play an even more important part in the branding of the region
- provides a range of scenic amenity and recreation opportunities which contribute to active lifestyles and healthier communities
- provides opportunities for local agricultural production and forestry, increasing food security and local employment
- plays a key role in protecting water quality in the Pumicestone Passage with development in this area more expensive and riskier than development in other more suitable locations, and
- is valuable for the sum of its parts, meaning that erosion of parts of the regional inter-urban break will have a significant impact on the values of this area for the region.
The outcomes of this research are summarised further in the Moreton Bay to Sunshine Coast regional inter-urban break project summary paper (PDF, 469KB).
Council made a further submission to the draft South East Queensland regional plan (draft 'ShapingSEQ' 2016) advocating for further protection and recognition of the inter-urban break. A copy of council's submission is available here.