Deputy Prime Minister Steven Miles last year called for an urgent review of the existing South East Queensland Regional Plan.
Chemello, who has 40 years of experience in government and private sector planning, said the government’s intentions to link infrastructure and regional planning “never really happened.”
“There is no direct link between the Department of Transport and Main Roads four-year infrastructure plan and regional planning,” he said. “And that is a problem.
“But the bigger problem is that there is no connection between the planning of the Ministry of Transport and the 20-year (population) forecasts.”
A senior source confirmed that the South East Queensland Regional Plan now being developed includes mechanisms to update council population growth data “much more frequently”.
Logan Mayor Darren Power said his council added 4,000 new residential lots last year and included two high-profile priority development areas: Flagstone and Yarrabilba.
He said that while the state government’s “mantra” was to provide affordable housing, “the issue is someone has to pay for it (subsidies)”.
“It can’t drain the council’s wallet to provide that affordable housing,” Power said.
“That’s where the battle starts for us, because greenfield development – starting from scratch – is the most expensive form of development for municipalities.”
Moreton Bay Council Mayor Peter Flannery, who has been questioning infrastructure funding for 12 months, said the state government’s top-down approach was flawed.
“We know what to deliver; we need the help of the state to do that,” Flannery said.
He agreed that infrastructure funds should reflect population growth, not a decade later.
“We would particularly like to see the infrastructure plan wholeheartedly linked to the South East Queensland Regional Plan,” he said.
Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding said despite overseeing the fastest growing borough area “in percentage terms”, funding for transport infrastructure in her region fell by 6 per cent in 2021-22.
“My question to the state government is exactly the same as in 2020: How can I deliver on that growth if I don’t have a funded state infrastructure plan?”
Queensland’s latest state infrastructure plan was released in 2016, but is more strategic State infrastructure strategy was released last year.
Seven regional infrastructure plans are now being prepared. The one for South East Queensland will be ready next year.