Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt today thanked Cassowary Coast residents for helping shape the draft Far North Queensland Regional Plan, which recently took the top award at the Planning Institute of Australia’s National Awards for Planning Excellence.

Mr Pitt presented certificates of appreciation to Mayor Bill Shannon on behalf of the Minister for Infrastructure and Planning, Stirling Hinchliffe.

“I want to thank people from across Far North Queensland who had their say and helped shape this plan. They have played a truly valuable role in protecting this region’s wonderful lifestyle and environment,” said Mr Pitt.

“The Cassowary Coast Regional Council, along with the Cairns, Yarrabah, Tablelands, Wujal Wujal Councils will continue to play a leading role in delivering on this plan and making it a reality in coming years.

“The FNQ Regional Plan is the blueprint that will guide Far North Queensland through the next 20 years. It will create jobs, limit urban sprawl and protect more than 99 per cent of Far North Queensland from urban development.

“It means generations of Queenslanders and tourists to come will be able to enjoy the Far North’s natural beauty, from the World Heritage listed Wet Tropics to the Great Barrier Reef.

”But just as importantly this plan allows enough new homes in the right areas to cope with the region’s expected population growth over the next two decades.”

Mr Pitt said the award from the Planning Institute of Australia also recognises the efforts of Deputy Premier Paul Lucas (the former Planning Minister) and local members Desley Boyle (Cairns) Steve Wettenhall (Barron River) and Jason O’Brien (Cook), and Warren Pitt (Mulgrave) who provided strong input on behalf of their communities.

“I know that Minister Hinchliffe will build on this good work and that his focus is on implementing the plan. This will include amending local government planning schemes to reflect the statutory nature of the plan,” said Mr Pitt.

“I also look forward to making a contribution to achieve the goals the community has set us in the region.”