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Town planning legislation in the early 1990s (the Local Government (Planning and Environment) Act 1990) provided that the State Government could promulgate “statements of planning policy” which local governments as the local planning authorities would be obliged to incorporate into their planning schemes and development decisions. The first such instrument (which by s.1A.2 had the status of subordinate legislation) was aimed at protecting “Good Quality Agricultural Land”. This page revives a number of documents dating from 1992 on the subject.

First came a non-statutory “Planning Bulletin” in 1991. A great push came from the sugar millers concerned about the viability of the processing facilities due to declining acreages growing cane and the risk of falling below the threshold  supply needed to sustain a profitable mill. In the friable vegetable-growing soils of Redlands, damage had already been done through existing subdivision policies that allowed for the creation of small 4 ha farms for strawberry growing. This size was admirably suited for rural residential housing so the inevitable happened.

State Planning Policy 1/92 Development and the Conservation of Agricultural Land. The policy was later supplemented by Planning Guidelines: The Identification of Good Quality Agricultural Land, January 1993 and Planning Guidelines: Separating Agricultural and Residential Land Uses, August 1997.

Land Planning Guideline E62 The Protection of Good Quality Agricultural Land, April 1998 – An internal procedural paper that was distributed to departmental staff but not brought to finality (evidence is the incomplete pagination).

Protecting Queensland’s strategic cropping land: A policy framework, August 2010.

After the Newman government came to power  in 2012, it abolished the State Planning Policies. However, while the original SPP1/92 lapsed in 2012, the same principles were carried forward into the agricultural land component of the replacement generic SPP and have been incorporated into each planning scheme.

Guidelines for Agricultural Land Evaluation in Queensland, December 2015.

State Planning Policy July 2017, the consolidated policy of that period.

See also the dedicated page on coal seam gas and agricultural land.

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