During Parliamentary Budget Estimates on Wednesday August 2023, I asked the Director-General of the Department of State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning about the ongoing review of the planning framework as part of the Energy and Jobs Plan.
You can read the answers below or in the official Queensland Parliament Record of Proceedings (Hansard).
Mr BERKMAN: My question is to the Director-General. The Energy and Jobs Plan requires a review of the planning framework as it relates to renewable energy development, and I understand this review has commenced. Can you provide any detail on the scope of that review, particularly in terms of who has been consulted to date and the expected outcomes, and whether we might include legislative reforms, regulations, new state codes and the like?
Mr Kaiser: The Deputy Premier asked the department to conduct a strategic review of the planning framework for renewable energy. This review is focused on integrating projects, preserving the environment, promoting social equity, and attracting investments for a greener future. By aligning regional land use plans, infrastructure plans and local economic development plans with renewable energy zones developed by the Department of Energy and Public Works, we will maximise the potential of renewable energy infrastructure while minimising environmental and social impacts. Additionally, we are piloting a bioregional planning approach with the Australian government aimed at unlocking suitable development areas while safeguarding environmental values within Renewable Energy Zones.
Mr BERKMAN: Beyond the answer you have just given, DG, will the review include public consultation on adding social impact assessments and buffer zones around national parks and World Heritage areas for wind farms or specifically, as I asked before, that development of a state code for solar developments as opposed to the current mix of local government approvals?
Mr Kaiser: I think we will be asking wide-ranging questions, and members of the public and organisations and stakeholders can make suggestions along those lines. We are open to all suggestions as we review the wind code and as we look at the implications of renewable energy for Queenslanders, particularly Renewable Energy Zones. We really want to get this right as a government. I know the Deputy Premier is passionate about making sure that we meet our renewable energy target while also minimising the impacts on local communities and local environments.