Moreton Bay Regional Council is working to better understand the environmental health impacts and economic value of the Narangba Innovation Precinct to guide future planning decisions about development in and around the precinct.
Located in Narangba to the east and west of the Bruce Highway, the precinct is a major enterprise and industrial area catering for large-scale, hard-to-locate industries (Special industry and High impact industry). It is a significant contributor to the Moreton Bay Region's economy.
Over time, the area surrounding the precinct has changed and Council is looking to develop a land use policy position to respond to this. A land use policy position is about having a direction for how an area will develop in the future. Any future policy position will need to balance the protection and viability of industry activities in the precinct with the safety, health and amenity of surrounding areas.
The policy position will be informed by environmental health and economic value investigations into the approved industrial activities and operations in precinct. This will in turn inform any potential future amendment to Council’s current planning scheme, the Moreton Bay Regional Council (MBRC) Planning Scheme 2016.
This study is being undertaken in response to the Narangba Innovation Precinct (East) Temporary Local Planning Instrument (TLPI) that was first implemented by the Queensland Government in July 2020 and has since been remade by Council. The new TLPI is a replica of the original instrument with only minor administrative changes. The TLPI will continue to provide certainty to industry operators in conjunction with appropriately managing community health and safety, while a long-term policy position is prepared and implemented through a planning scheme amendment. The TLPI will continue for another two years (until 4 July 2024) or until planning scheme amendments are completed, whichever comes sooner.
To inform potential future planning scheme amendments, Council is committed to a process that relies on accurate data and information from a range of investigations and stakeholder feedback to understand the impacts the approved industrial activities are having within and around the precinct.
Council has engaged independent consultants to undertake the environmental health and economic value investigations, and stakeholder and community engagement components of this study.
Environmental health investigations
An initial review of existing environmental health studies and air quality monitoring data has been undertaken. This has found further technical investigations are required into the current operating conditions within and around the precinct. This is mainly due to changes that have occurred both within and around the precinct over many years. These investigations are currently underway and include updated assessments of air quality, noise, health and fire/explosion risk.
A key study that formed part of the initial review was the Narangba Industrial Estate Health Impact Assessment, prepared by Queensland Health in 2011. Since then, some industries have expanded, relocated or changed the way they operate, and residential development has continued to occur. Relevant legislation, guidelines and standards have also changed. The environmental health investigations will consider these changes within and around the precinct.
The investigations are complex. Council is currently working through the findings and preparing a draft policy position to inform a potential future planning scheme amendment.
Council is also engaging with the State Government on the findings and draft policy position.
Economic value investigations
The economic value investigations are now complete. Throughout 2021, Lucid Economics an independent consultant, explored the contribution industries and businesses within the precinct make to the local economy. Overall, it was found the precinct currently contributes significantly to local, regional and state economies and employment. With greater business certainty, future opportunities may contribute even further. More information about the findings, including a copy of the Narangba Innovation Precinct Economic Assessment report, can be found here.
What will these investigations tell us?
The findings of the technical investigations will enable Council to better plan for, and make decisions about, future development within the precinct and its surrounds, using the best available information.
The investigations will not tell us whether existing industries are complying with their individual approvals and environmental licences. Rather the investigations focus on understanding the collective impact from the existing approved and licenced industrial activities, i.e., assessing the impact if all the industries were operating in a way that reached the maximum limits of their approvals and licences.
The study will not affect how existing industries currently operate. It will, however, inform potential future planning scheme amendments that may apply to future development.
If you have concerns about existing industry’s compliance with environmental licences or environmental nuisance (such as odour) please refer to the State Government’s information on reporting environmental nuisance or call the Pollution Hotline on 1300 130 372.
Keeping stakeholders and community informed
Once engagement with the State Government is complete and the draft policy position is ready, Council will let you know how we will engage with our communities and stakeholders in 2023.
Council encourages you to register your interest in the study to be kept updated and notified about any future opportunities to have your say.
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