Newman wants to prevent SE Qld from becoming LA of Australia
QUEENSLAND'S leader wants to send more people to regional Queensland and avoid creating the "LA of Australia" in the state's south-east corner.
Premier Campbell Newman said he had a vision to decentralise the state to keep its traditionally regional roots rather than end up with an over-populated city like Los Angeles on the United States' west coast.
Mr Newman, speaking on 4BC radio, said he was not turning people away from the south-east but suggesting newcomers choose "these wonderful regional cities".
"I do want to decentralise, I want to regionalise," he said.
"We really want to get behind those great regional cities, places like Maryborough, Gladstone, Rocky, Bundaberg and Mackay ...
"We want to build them up and there are other smaller towns as well and that's where I think we should be getting economic growth going and job opportunities there.
"We can better manage this by policy regionalisation. Let's not put all our eggs into one basket and make South-East Queensland the LA of Australia.
"Let's try and put people into other communities."
Radio host Greg Cary had asked Mr Newman about a Western Australia university study which estimated the Australian population would increase to 62 million by 2100 and South-East Queensland would have grown from 3.1 million to 5.7 million by 2056.
"Are you confident if you build the infrastructure in those places you can accommodate much larger populations there and then add in something like Very Fast Trains (to) give those people access to other areas, even like Brisbane?" Mr Cary asked.
Mr Newman said he would not speculate on how many people Queensland could accommodate but instead spruiked his "Queensland Plan" which will become the 30-year vision for the state.
"I think that's what this 30-year planning exercise does for us, it gives us the opportunity to really talk about that issue," he said.
"Essentially the product we want to create is a long-term vision, 30 years out, for Queensland that everybody's got some ownership of.
"I have a very strong personal view that we don't want all our eggs in one basket in South-East Queensland.
"I think if we can appropriately plan and run the state in a different way, I see a different outcome."
All Queensland MPs, regardless of political persuasion, and 73 mayors will meet in Mackay in May for a state summit to discuss the Queensland Plan.
They will then return to their electorates and local government areas to "crunch some questions" with local people before regrouping for a two-day summit in SEQ in September.
Mr Newman said he wanted to shift government departments to regional areas but his hands were tied by industrial agreements.
He said when the last government tried to shift people to Ipswich or Carseldine, neither far from the current base, it met fierce contest.
" We do want to do that but every public servant's got families, got roots and we can't just department x is going from Brisbane to (unspecified)," he said.
"The situation we inherited was people jacking up saying we're not going.
"There's also the issue of people not wanting to go to the wilds of Carseldine (20 minutes away).
"We've got a set of Enterprise Bargaining Agreements which say we have to ask people.
"I don't agree with those EBAs but if they're there we've got to honour them.
"I'm not into tearing up industrial agreements."