Formal consultation closing soon on draft Cape York plan

THE March 25 deadline is approaching for formal consultation on the draft Cape York Regional Plan, which aims to provide a planning and economic blueprint while protecting the region’s natural resources.

Lou Caruana

Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney said while formal consultation on the draft plan closed next week, the conversation about this important document would continue well into the future.

“The draft Cape York Regional Plan delivers on our vision to provide indigenous communities on the Cape the opportunity to create a sound economic future, while protecting the environment,” Seeney said.

“The government is prepared to take as long as is necessary to get this plan right and I can reassure communities on the Cape that all their submissions will be considered when finalising the plan.

“We have always made clear that we are open to the community’s views on the draft maps, the protections afforded to the areas mapped and the possibility of making amendments to those areas.”

The Cape York Regional Plan identifies strategic land-use classifications to manage competing economic and environmental state interests. These classifications include General Use Areas, Strategic Environmental Areas, National Parks, Priority Agricultural Areas and Priority Living Areas.

The draft plan was developed in close consultation with indigenous groups and traditional owner groups. Representatives from all local governments on Cape York, the Balkanu Cape York Development Corporation and Cape York Partnerships, were members of the Cape York Regional Planning Committee.

Additionally, indigenous stakeholders including Gungarde Community Centre Aboriginal Corporation, Hopevale Congress Aboriginal Corporation, Lower Wenlock Catchment Group and Mapoon Land and Sea Centre were consulted.

“Stakeholders were consulted over 15 months during the preparation of the draft plan prior to its release in November last year to the broader community for their input,” Seeney said.

“We also extended this formal consultation period from the standard 60 business days to 80 to take into account the wet season and the holidays.”