Part 3 - Strategic framework

Part 3  Strategic framework

  1. Preliminary
  2. Strategic Intent

3.1  Preliminary

  1. The strategic framework sets the policy direction for the planning scheme and forms the basis for ensuring appropriate development occurs within the planning scheme area for the life of the planning scheme.
  2. Mapping for the strategic framework is included in Schedule 2.
  3. For the purpose of describing the policy direction of the planning scheme, the strategic framework is structured in the following way:
    1. the strategic intent — Encouraging Prosperity in the Shire
    2. the strategic outcome(s) proposed for development in the planning scheme area for each theme
    3. the element(s) that refine and further describe the strategic outcome(s)
    4. the specific outcomes sought for each, or a number of, elements

Back to Top

3.2  Strategic Intent

The MSC and its community understand that planning for the future development of the Shire plays a critical role achieving prosperity so that it occurs on 'our terms'.

The planning scheme builds upon Burke’s traditional economic strengths including agriculture, tourism remaining a key south western service centre, and future resource extraction activities in a way that retains our character, keeps us sage from natural hazards, emissions and hazardous activities, respects and cares for our enviroment and heritage and makes best use of our infrastructure.

This is what the Shire means by prosperity.

The planning scheme realises MSC’s intent to grow its economic opportunities and utilise Council’s economic development strategy by establishing a framework to facilitate the future prosperity of the Shire through clearly articulating:

  • Outcomes that satisfy the vision; and
  • a development assessment framework to support the strategic outcomes for growing the economic opportunities of the Shire into the future.

It does this by:

  • identifying a series of key outcomes for the area, that support a prosperous future for the Shire; and
  • articulating specific outcomes to achieve the strategic intent and create a 'line of sight' between the strategic direction and development assessment provisions, such that development which 'value-adds' to our vision is facilitated, whilst development that is inconsistent with MSC's vision is not supported.

The planning scheme assists in producing a prosperous Shire by:

  • focussing on achieving our desired outcomes;
  • positively responding to change and encourageing development within Murweh Shire; and
  • ensuring that development decisions are transparent and accountable to the Murweh community.

The Shire will thrive and be prosperous through having a diversified economy that protects and enhances its most significant economic drivers such as agriculture, tourism and its key role as a south western service centre, whilst also allowing for potentially new resource developments that can co-exist with, and preserve or enhance, our traditional economic strengths.

The planning scheme identifies development which supports our economy both in terms of 'what we do' (ie, having a 'fit for purpose' development assessment regime) and 'where we do it' (ie, ensuring an adequate and appropriate land supply of appropriately serviced land for a range of uses and activities).

To enable this prosperity into the future, the scheme ensures that, throughout the 20 year life of this planning scheme (to 2035), development is strategically located and occurs in a safe and efficient manner that leaves a positive legacy for the community and landscape of the Shire.

Five key strategic outcomes will drive this strategic intent:

  1. Encouraging economic growth;
  2. Supporting rural and small town living;
  3. Avoiding natural hazards;
  4. Safeguarding our environment and heritage; and
  5. Providing appropriate infrastructure.

3.2.1 Encouraging economic growth


At the commencement of this planning scheme (and as envisaged into 2035), agriculture is the largest employer in the Shire, with over 16% of the total workforce employed in the sector through activities such as cattle and sheep grazing.

Agriculture in the Shire supports other businesses within the agricultural supply chain. A viable agricultural sector will be maintained by removing the potential for land use conflicts, protecting resources from inappropriate development and increasing opportunities for investment, production and diversification.

Given the importance the rural area plays to the economy of the Shire, the rural area will be protected from fragmentation that would result in diminished productivity of lands identified in Agricultural Land Classification (ALC) - Class A and Class B in SPP mapping - Economic Growth, Agriculture.

Development that occurs in these mapped areas, that is consistent with rural values, will allow farms to diversify their enterprises while not diminishing or limiting the productivity of agricultural lands in shire.

MSC supports the development of value-adding agricultural industries such as cattle feedlots and abattoirs, where they are located in rural areas and where they do not compromise the ability of the existing land uses to function safely and effectively. Established agriculturally-based industries, such as the Charleville abattoir, are protected from the encroachment by sensitive uses (such as residential uses) and inappropriate land fragmentation.

The function, connectivity and pasture productivity of the stock route network is maintained for sustainable use by travelling stock on hoof. The stock route network is protected from developments (on or near stock routes) that have potential for conflict between use of the network and use of the adjoining areas. The stock route network's use or capacity for the primary purpose of travelling stock on hoof is maintained. Potential for conflict between use of the network and use of adjoining areas is avoided. The stock route network is identified in SPP mapping - Agriculture Stock Route Network.


The Shire's tourist sector plays an important role in the regional economy. Famous tourist sites (not only for the Shire but for south-west Queensland more broadly) such as the Bilby Experience, Cosmos Centre Observatory and Natural Sciences Loop will be protected from inappropriate development that detracts from the quality of the experience. These examples, and other significant tourist sites, are identified in SPP mapping - Economic Growth, Tourism and, Schedule 2 - Natural Sciences Loop.

Developments such as short term accommodation which value-add to these experiences and the tourism economies generally are encouraged.

Remaining a key south western service centre:

Charleville is the south-west region's key service centre in terms of retail, commercial and government services. It is important that the Charleville commercial centre maintains vibrancy within the central business district. Development will consolidate the traditional strip shopping area and maintain high levels of occupancy before alternative retail developments are opened up in other parts of the town. To facilitate this, the re-use of buildings where no external building works are proposed is determined to be accepted development and does not require development approval.


The Shire is located on large petroleum and mineral exploration leases, as well as quarrying resources, which could play an important part in its future prosperity. To facilitate new growth in the Shire's economy, it is important that these areas and any associated uses are able to co-exist with other land uses. Any future resource-related developments, such as non-resident workforce accommodation camps, are to be centred on Charleville, in either the Rural or Industrial zone to consolidate its role as the key south western service centre, whilst protecting the small rural town character of Augathella and Morven. Extractive industry sites are rehabilitated once the resource has been exhausted or the extractive industry use becomes no longer viable.

Given the potential growth that can be anticipated from resource projects, future growth areas may be required in the towns of Charleville and Augathella. MSC has identified in Schedule 2 - Preferred Future Growth Patterns (strategic framework map) (PDF) the general direction and areas within towns considered most appropriate for residential, industrial and rural residential expansion. No new mining towns will be established within the Shire, whilst new development will be undertaken around existing towns in keeping with traditional town character.

3.2.2 Supporting rural and small town living

The Shire is characterised by a rural lifestyle that is made up of large rural properties that are serviced by the town of Charleville, as well as the smaller communities of Augathella and Morven.

As of 30 June 2013, the estimated resident population of the Shire was 4,736 people, or 0.1 per cent of the Queensland's population. According to population projections produced by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the projected population of the Shire as of 30 June 2036 is 4,489 persons. Accordingly, with no growth projected, the land supply within currently zoned areas is adequate to meet development needs for the planning scheme area.

If unexpected growth occurs within the life of this planning scheme, from development in for example, the Surat or Cooper Basins (to the east and west respectively), the general direction in which preferred development should occur is identified within the strategic framework map. This growth will consolidate around existing towns.

Development in the Shire will result in well-serviced, accessible, and attractive environments and include an adequate supply of land, consisting of appropriate housing options, to maximise the use of existing services. Community health and safety, sensitive land uses and the natural environment are protected from the potential adverse impacts of hazardous air, noise and odour emissions from higher impact uses. Industrial development, and resource areas such as quarries are protected from encroachment by development, including sensitive land uses that would compromise their safe and effective function and located to reduce adverse impacts on sensitive land uses.


Charleville is the largest town in the Shire and acts as the service centre to both Augathella and Morven, as well as other towns located in the south west of Queensland. It is an important regional centre for health services, with the Charleville Hospital and Royal Flying Doctor Service providing life-saving health services for the south west of Queensland. Charleville is also an important education centre, with the Charleville School of the Air providing distance education for much of western Queensland. There are also local schooling options, including technical and further education, and a variety of government services.

Charleville is located at the junction point of the Charleville-Bollon Road, Diamantina Development Road, Warrego Highway and Mitchell Highway, which are the predominant freight and passenger roads networks for the region. Charleville airport has commercial flights to Brisbane, as well as passenger rail and freight services operating on the Western Rail Corridor.

The town is characterised by wide streets, in a standard grid pattern, with many historic buildings such as the School of Arts Building and Corones Hotel in central locations. The town has distinct and separated commercial, residential and industrial precincts, with Rural Residential zones providing both a residential lifestyle option and an urban buffer to activities within the Rural Zone.

Commercial development is encouraged in the Shire, by promoting the adaptive reuse of existing buildings located within the central business district of Charleville. Charleville's residential built form consists of low and high set houses on large allotments (often in the classic "Queenslander" style), with a mixture of short-term accommodation facilities located near the state-controlled roads. The industrial areas are predominantly used for accommodating low impact industries, with higher impact industries located away from sensitive uses.

Residents of Charleville have a range of recreational facilities, including green space areas along Bradley's Gully, sporting facilities in Charleville Park, the Charleville Golf Course, the public pool and the Charleville Showgrounds and racecourse.


Augathella is the second largest town in the Shire and has a smaller range of services including a primary school, primary health care centre, police station and a sealed airstrip. Augathella's main street has numerous public art displays such as the giant Meat Ant and the Q150 building. This 'boutique' and 'low density' town feel is valued by local residents and is to be preserved in future development decisions.

Commercial uses such as the general store, post office and hotel are located along Main Street with the remainder of the town being a mixture of low set houses, light industries and government services on large allotments. Augathella has abundant recreational areas such as the Showgrounds, Q150 Building, bowls club, golf course, football fields and a public pool.


Morven, the smallest town in the Shire, is located along the Warrego Highway. Morven has a mixture of services such as a primary school, library, public uses and some commercial uses such as a shop, hotel and motel. Houses are predominantly low set and are located on large residential allotments. This pattern of development is valued by local residents and is to be preserved in future development decisions.

3.2.3  Avoiding the impacts of natural and other hazards


The Shire has a long history with natural hazards, with Charleville bearing the brunt of numerous events throughout its history. With the assistance of both state and federal governments, the towns of Charleville and Augathella have had flood protection levees built to provide residents flood immunity to a 1 in 200 year level. While the flood levees will not protect against every potential flood event, they do provide a tolerable risk for the residents of Charleville and Augathella. To ensure that economic development is not adversely impacted by significant flood events, development is encouraged within those areas of Charleville and Augathella that are not known to flood. The existence of the levees means that development within these areas in Charleville and Augathella is as close as possible to being flood-free and, will not be subject to an onerous flood-based development assessment process.

Flood assessment will be applied only to development on sites affected by flooding and shown in those areas on Schedule 2 - Flood mapping.


The Shire is also prone to bushfire events, and these areas are shown on SPP mapping - Hazards and Safety, Natural Hazards. New development must take bushfire risks into account by making sure that development does not unduly burden disaster management response or recovery capacity, nor adversely impact the existing capabilities of emergency services. New developments avoid areas known to be bushfire-prone and where unavoidable are built and located to be resilient against bushfires.

Emissions and hazardous activities:

Activities involving the use, storage and disposal of hazardous materials and hazardous chemicals, dangerous goods and flammable or combustible substances are located to avoid or mitigate potential adverse impacts on surrounding uses and minimise the health and safety risks to communities and individuals.

Sensitive land uses are protected from the impacts of previous activities that may cause risk to people or property including former mining activities and hazards (e.g. disused underground mines, tunnels and shafts - SPP mapping - Emissions and Hazardous Activities - Abandoned Mines.

The integrity of pipelines carrying petroleum is maintained and development does not encroach on the pipeline or pipeline easement. The pipeline is shown in Schedule 2 - Murweh context map.

3.2.4 Safeguarding our environment and heritage


The Shire is located within the Warrego River Catchment, which feeds into the Murray Darling Basin. The Warrego River headwaters start in the Carnarvon Ranges, with the river running south past Augathella and Charleville. Morven is also located with the Warrego River Catchment.

Development within the Shire must facilitate the protection of environmental values and the achievement of water quality objectives of the Shire.


Mulga shrub land is the predominant vegetation in the Shire, with Mulga communities found in both low open forest to tall shrub lands growing on the flat undulating plains of the Shire.

The major channels of the Warrego River also support Cypress Pine and native Acacia.

Significant state threatened species of fauna and flora have been listed in the Shire, and these include:

Fauna Flora
Collett's Snake (Pseudechis colletti) Eucalyptus virens
Death Adder (Acanthophis spp.) Rhaphidospora bonneyana
Little Pied Bat (Chalinolobus picatus) Picris evae
Brolga (Grus rubicunda) Grevillea nematophylla
Freckled Duck (Stictonetta naevosa) Xerothamnella parviolia


National biodiversity values in the area include threatened ecological communities such as Brigalow and species including the Red Goshawk and Greater Bilby.

Biodiversity is important to both agriculture and tourism in the Shire. Development must be located in areas that avoid significant adverse impacts on state biodiversity values and protects these while maintaining ecological connectivity. The state biodiversity areas are identified in SPP mapping Environment and Heritage - Biodiversity

Cultural heritage:

The Shire is home to important state and local cultural heritage places, with Charleville having several Queensland State heritage-listed buildings such as the Charleville Railway Station and Corones Hotel. The unique architectural, cultural and historic qualities of these places contribute to their heritage value and a list of local heritage places is in Schedule 6 - Local Heritage Places.

MSC supports the adaptation and re-use of local heritage places for the benefit of the community to ensure that the Shire's history is kept alive for future generations whilst facilitating appropriate development and ongoing use. Development conserves the physical features, fabric and contents that contribute to the cultural heritage significance of the local heritage place and avoids changes to the setting or context of the local heritage place that reduce understanding or appreciation of its cultural heritage significance. Any changes as a result of the development will be appropriately managed, documented and interpreted by encouraging their retention for appropriate development and ongoing use.

3.2.5 Providing appropriate infrastructure


The Charleville-Bollon Road, Diamantina Development Road, Warrego Highway and Mitchell Highway are vitally important to Murweh Shire. Any new development must not adversely affect the safety and efficiency of the road network identified in SPP mapping - Infrastructure, State Transport Infrastructure.


The Western rail corridor and the Cunnamulla rail corridor allow for significant movements of heavy freight and transportation of passengers to Brisbane. These corridors are identified in SPP mapping - Infrastructure, State Transport Infrastructure. These rail corridors are important in servicing the Shire's economy and any new developments must not compromise their long-term viability.


The Charleville airport and Augathella airstrip play a vital role in delivering health services across the south west region. The Charleville airport also provides a direct link to other regional centres and could become vitally important if major resource projects are started in the region. Any new developments located within Charleville and Augathella must not create incompatible intrusions or compromise aircraft safety of the Charleville airport, Augathella airstrip and associated aviation navigation and communication facilities.

Energy and communications:

Due to the remote nature of the Shire, electricity and telecommunication services are of vital importance to ensure the safety and wellbeing of local residents. These areas, identified in SPP mapping - Infrastructure, Major Electricity Infrastructure must not be adversely impacted upon by new developments.

Town-based infrastructure:

MSC will continue to provide dedicated infrastructure services, including sewerage, water and road networks, and open space areas to the extent possible within the budget framework.

  Back to Top