As State and local governments in SEQ continue to work with the community and industry to accommodate the region’s growing population, it is important to also consider and protect the important scenic values of our region. In recent years, new and innovative strategies have been developed to identify and protect important scenic values. Since the early 1990s, regional planning initiatives have recognised the need to protect the natural beauty of SEQ. These efforts have resulted in the development and application of a robust technical procedure for measuring and mapping the location of areas with high scenic amenity and evaluating the importance of public viewing locations.
While there are many different and successful approaches used for visual landscape management and planning, the efficient protection of scenic amenity in SEQ is best served through the adoption of a consistent approach for identifying and evaluating scenic amenity values. Two recent regional scenic amenity studies provide current, consistent and credible regional assessment of scenic amenity values for SEQ – the “2004 Interim Regional Scenic Amenity Maps and Guidelines to Protect High Scenic Amenity”, and “SEQ 2004 Public Preference Survey”.
The SEQ Regional Plan calls for the adoption of a single, common method for the assessment of scenic amenity. In 2001, the then SEQ Regional Organisation of Councils–now called the Council of Mayors (SEQ)–endorsed a move by local governments towards a consistent, objective, and regional approach to scenic amenity issues. The Council of Mayors (SEQ) also recently resolved that partners involved in stage 1 of the 2004 SEQ
Regional Scenic Amenity Study should be encouraged to apply the results of this study at an individual council or sub-regional level.
These guidelines describe voluntary procedures for SEQ local governments and the State Government to implement the scenic amenity policies of the SEQ Regional Plan by identifying and protecting areas of high scenic amenity, popular and significant viewpoints, and important view corridors.