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Wide Bay Burnett Regional Plan Review

The Wide Bay Burnett region is one of the most diverse regions in Queensland, boasting outstanding natural assets and resources, agricultural land, and unique townships.

The region’s agriculture, renewable energy, manufacturing and tourism industries are key contributors to Queensland’s economy.

Region at a glance

  • 310,728

  • 119,745 dwellings

  • 113,314 Jobs

The region includes the local government areas of:

  • Bundaberg Regional Council
  • Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council
  • Fraser Coast Regional Council
  • Gympie Regional Council
  • North Burnett Regional Council
  • South Burnett Regional Council.

Like many regions across Queensland, Wide Bay Burnett is experiencing a period of significant growth and change that will bring huge opportunities for its people and businesses.

The current Wide Bay Burnett Regional Plan (2011) is being reviewed to ensure it best reflects the Queensland Government’s strategic direction for managing population growth and regional development.

The Draft Wide Bay Burnett Regional Plan 2022 ( 47.1 MB) is proposed as the new regional plan for the region. The mapping for the draft regional plan can also be viewed in an interactive tool.

Prepared in partnership with local governments, local industries and the broader community, the Draft Wide Bay Burnett Regional Plan 2022 highlights the opportunities for the region over the next 25 years.

The Draft Wide Bay Burnett Regional Plan 2022:

  • establishes a shared vision for Wide Bay Burnett’s future and provides the steps to achieve this
  • identifies and plans for the continued development of a diverse economic profile
  • responds to region-specific challenges and opportunities
  • informs major strategic planning and infrastructure decisions for local governments and state agency’s forward planning and delivery
  • provides support for key planning directions through committed actions.

The Draft Wide Bay Burnett Regional Plan 2022 has a strong focus on attracting and retaining people in the region, promoting workforce opportunities, enhancing the region’s existing economic strengths while growing emerging industries, and reinforcing the region’s positive reputation for liveability and community.

It does this by providing a strengthened economic strategy for the region and identifying integrated land use and infrastructure planning responses, including actions to be delivered over the short, medium and long term.

Consultation on the Draft Wide Bay Burnett Regional Plan 2022

Community members are now invited to have their say on the Draft Wide Bay Burnett Regional Plan 2022 until 24 February 2023.

The department also invites community members to attend an overview presentation to learn more about the draft plan or to book a one-on-one session to discuss the plan with one of our planners.

  • Gympie – 22 November 2022 – The Pavilion, 77 Exhibition Rd, Southside
  • Maryborough – 23 November 2022 – Brolga Theatre and Conference Centre, 5 Walker St, Maryborough
  • Dates to be confirmed:
    • Bundaberg –December 2022
    • Monto – early 2023
    • Cherbourg – early 2023
    • Kingaroy –early 2023

Frequently asked questions

  • The Draft Wide Bay Burnett Regional Plan 2022 applies to the following local government areas:

    • Bundaberg Regional Council
    • Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council
    • Fraser Coast Regional Council
    • Gympie Regional Council
    • North Burnett Regional Council
    • South Burnett Regional Council.

    For the purposes of the Draft Wide Bay Burnett Regional Plan 2022, the region also includes Queensland offshore waters that are part of those local government areas.

  • A regional plan is a long-term, strategic plan (20–25 years) which is used by community members, councils and the state government to recognise shared opportunities and address challenges. This can include matters such as access to housing, employment, transport and freight links, and protection of farming land and environmental values, that extend over council boundaries. The regional planning process offers residents of Wide Bay Burnett region a unique opportunity to help determine what the future of their region should look like.

  • The current Wide Bay Burnett Regional Plan was released in 2011. From a growing regional population to a global pandemic, the region has experienced significant changes since this time. The current regional plan is being reviewed to respond to these changes and position the region for the future.

  • With more people choosing to live, work and visit in the region, we need to ensure the region grows in a sustainable way – socially, environmentally and economically. The Draft Wide Bay Burnett Regional Plan 2022 provides direction for the region to manage future growth while supporting future jobs, housing, liveability and the environment.

  • The Draft Wide Bay Burnett Regional Plan 2022 has been released for public consultation from 8 November 2022 until 24 February 2023 to enable the community, business and industry to have their say. All comments and feedback from public consultation will be considered in informing the final Wide Bay Burnett Regional Plan.

  • The Wide Bay Burnett region is currently home to more than 300,000 people and the population is expected to grow by an additional 54,000 people by 2041.

    The Draft Wide Bay Burnett Regional Plan 2022 supports jobs and the growing economy by identifying key industry growth areas and signalling investment opportunities for emerging industries such as renewable energy and the circular economy, while also supporting the continued growth of the region’s traditional industries including agriculture and manufacturing.

  • Increasing development pressure and land availability may have long term implications on housing supply in the Wide Bay Burnett region. Housing supply pressures will also likely be experienced along the coastal areas and in the larger townships of the region into the future. The Draft Wide Bay Burnett Regional Plan 2022 assists local governments to investigate and identify new urban development opportunities to accommodate growth. This includes providing better housing options which fits the needs of the community and promoting affordable and diverse housing choices.

  • Competition for skilled workers and talent will continue across regional Australia. The Draft Wide Bay Burnett Regional Plan 2022 includes guidance on providing well-serviced industrial land to help grow and attract investment and jobs which require a skilled workforce. The plan also addresses the need to increase employment and training by supporting the linkages between industry, education and training facilities.

  • The Draft Wide Bay Burnett Regional Plan 2022 seeks to ensure places with high biodiversity value and ecological processes are appropriately protected. This is done by mapping the regional biodiversity network for local governments to consider when preparing their planning schemes. The plan also nominates strategic environmental areas. In these areas certain development activities must demonstrate that they will not jeopardise ecological integrity or cause widespread irreversible impacts.

Last updated: 16 Nov 2022