The natural beauty of SEQ’s beaches, forests, waterways, parks, and farmland is one of the region’s greatest assets for the tourism industry and for the community’s quality of life. Aesthetic appreciation of urban, rural, bushland, and coastal landscapes is one of the most fundamental ways people experience and relate to their physical environment. Landscapes with significant natural elements like plants, water, and rocky outcrops provide relaxation and other psychological benefits in addition to their aesthetic values.

Scenic values contribute to an individual’s choice of tourism destinations, recreational setting, and where people choose to live. It also influences property values across SEQ. Property values are often high within close proximity and with access to waterways and beaches. Highly desirable scenic landscapes across SEQ include our surf beaches, Border Ranges, Gold Coast Hinterland – “Green behind the Gold” and the Quandamooka Coast – Moreton Bay, Mt Coot-Tha, D’Aguilar Range, Main Range, and the Blackall Ranges.

Natural assets such as vegetation can be used to screen less favourable views (for example, quarries, mines, power stations, and waste transfer stations). It can also block the movement of airborne substances such as dust and aerosols, maintaining air quality and therefore scenic amenity. Maintaining a diversity of landscapes removes visual monotony and provides for the diversity of scenic values that are held across the SEQ community. Inter urban breaks or open spaces between major urban areas are important components that balance community and environmental needs with the increasing density of urban living.  Scenic amenity has been measured and mapped for SEQ and can be monitored over time as land use changes and the extent and condition of key natural assets change.


Headline Target: Scenic amenity (RLA4)

By 2031, the area of regionally high-scenic amenity will be maintained or improved from the 2004 baseline.

Subsidiary targets

RLA 5 – Locally important scenic amenity

By 2031, at least 80% of the 2004 area of locally important scenic amenity within each local government area will be retained.


The 2016 NRM Plan Review found:

  • Up to 51,680 hectares of regional scenic amenity were affected by current and future land uses.
  • Up to 195,831 hectares of local scenic amenity were affected by current and future land use.
  • There were concerns that land use change within the urban footprint of SEQ will lead to further losses in scenic amenity.

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Healthy Land and Water is dedicated to the care of our unique and beautiful land, waterways and biodiversity.

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