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Urban planners call on Qld govt to embrace 'zero carbon' precincts

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Queensland’s urban planners are launching a push for the establishment of “zero carbon precincts” in which all buildings, roads and other infrastructure are geared towards tackling climate change.

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The Planning Institute of Australia says the Queensland government should ensure that addressing climate change is more of a priority in laws government building and development in the state.

The institute has released a list of 10 actions it sees as necessary to achieve a “climate-conscious”pinning system in Queensland.

The list includes a call to deliver a low or zero carbon precinct much like the Barangaroo development in Sydney to demonstrate how cities can achieve big cuts in emissions while still producing productive infrastructure.

The institute puts forward a potential example in the precincts associated with the $5.6 billion Cross River Rail, which already benefit from high transport accessibility.

“Opportunities also exist to explore the concept of Renewal Energy Industrial Precincts in Queensland,” a paper released by the institute says.

Planning institute Queensland manager Matt Collins said another area ready for reform was ensuring that all legislation associated with planning have climate change “purpose statements” that highlight the importance of e ecological sustainability.

He said the state’s powerful Economic Development Act – which controlled 40 per cent of southeast Queensland’s greenfield development – should be revisited to ensure that, like the state’s Planning Act, it recognised the importance of mitigating climate change.

While the EDQ Act naturally had economic development at its core, it needed to ensure there was a clear statement showing that such an outcome went hand in hand with climate action, he said.

Collins said the institute would be lobbying the state government and working with local government and business groups to ensure the actions proposed in the plan were adopted.

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