The State Government has paved the way for Cairns Regional Council to boost economic and employment activity in Edmonton, just south of the city.

Minister for Infrastructure and Planning, Stirling Hinchliffe, announced today he has signed off on the first of two planning scheme amendments for the Edmonton Town Centre.

The first of the amendment finalises the proposed Edmonton Centre as a key sub-regional centre for the south of Cairns in the local planning scheme.

The second proposes the necessary planning framework for the centre’s detailed design and is currently undergoing a state interest check.

Once approved by the State Government, scheme amendment will be available through the Cairns Regional Council for public inspection and comment.

Mr Hinchliffe said council could now adopt the first amendment and continue to plan a vibrant Edmonton Town Centre.

“For some time council has recognised a need for a new district-level service centre at or near Edmonton, to meet the demands of an increasing population south of Cairns,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“And as the Far North Queensland Regional Plan recognises, we must plan for jobs, limit urban sprawl, and protect Queensland’s unique environment.

“This amendment also complements the objectives of the structure planning process for nearby Mount Peter, currently being undertaken by the Council.’’

The town centre will be off Mill Road on the western side of the highway, in the area known as Mann’s Farm.

Over time, it will grow into a transit-oriented community providing a range of local job opportunities for residents in Edmonton and the southern corridor of Cairns.

It will feature three precincts: the town centre core; town centre frame; and the residential precinct which provide for balanced, integrated urban design.

Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt said the mixed-use development envisioned by the amendment would contribute to creating a vibrant and sustainable town centre, which balances key economic and community goals.

“Through these amendments, council is ensuring the Edmonton Town Centre will become a community focal point for new jobs and housing south of Cairns,” Mr Pitt said.

“This will help reduce residents’ vehicle usage by providing jobs nearer to where people live.

“A wider variety of housing densities around the Edmonton Town Centre means the land is being put to best use and housing can remain affordable for locals.

“Commercial space and major retail shopping will form the core of the town centre, which will be complemented by other entertainment, cultural and leisure attractions.

“Residential living opportunities will be enhanced through innovative design and we’ll see a greater number of upper-floor apartments and other multi-unit developments.

“Importantly, development will reflect local character and architecture that meets the needs of our tropical climate, and will be adaptable in order to meet future requirements.”

The scheme amendment will be available through the Cairns Regional Council for public inspection and comment shortly.