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Queensland School Grounds to become Public Open Space?

March 2, 2010
Queenslanders are to be consulted on how school ovals and playing fields could be transformed into recreational green spaces in the lead up to the Queensland Growth Management Summit on 30th and 31st March.
Queensland Premier Anna Bligh said the idea will be included in a series of documents that will be progressively released for consultation over the next four weeks.
Premier Bligh said an important area to be looked at for better growth management was the expansion of land for public recreation rather than conservation, explaining "we want to open up as much green space as possible, particularly in the South East Queensland corner, to ensure the amount of land for public recreation expands in line with a growing population.
"Some school ovals do open after hours on an ad hoc basis but what we are proposing is a structured scheme that can open up schools right across the State.
"We need open spaces that the community can enjoy. That's part of what Queensland is all about and it is essential if we are to better manage growth and keep the lifestyle we love."
In addition to the proposal to open up school land for public use other proposed measures also include:
⢠Plans for the first statewide inventory of land available for community recreation by the end of this year.
⢠New planning instruments to ensure Green Space needs must be considered in planning for major new urban areas.
⢠An announcement to deliver a major new park in South East Queensland by the end of 2010.
The Premier continued "greater community use of state school playing fields is just one of many options we'd like to hear the public's thoughts on.
"We will be seeking feedback from schools across Queensland about this matter before we commence a pilot program which should take between six to 12 months to complete."
The Premier said the Department of Infrastructure and Planning would compile the first inventory of land available for community recreation in Queensland.
"A statewide green space inventory of land for public recreation will be developed and we expect to have a better picture by the end of this year," said the Premier.
"The inventory will include suitable state own land such as unused reserves to former TAFE sites such as that which became the new Kangaroo Point Cliffs Park and also privately owned land where the owner has given voluntary consent for it to be used for recreation."
Premier Bligh said the Government would be in a position to announce the location for a new major park in South East Queensland in coming months.
"The recent transformation of the former Kangaroo Point TAFE site into Brisbane's newest green space is an example of what I would like to see happening across the State," she said.
"The Kangaroo Point Park, covering almost one hectare, offers something for families, friends and tourists alike and despite its close proximity to the city, is a tranquil, pleasant place to be.
"This project showed that Government, industry and community can work together successfully to provide a top-class recreational facility."
Minister for Infrastructure and Planning Stirling Hinchliffe said the Government would if necessary amend the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 to ensure Greenspace Network Plans were considered in planning and development assessment for new major urban areas.
"We will also research and determine the level of green space needed based on housing density and land use types," Minister Hinchliffe added.

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