Sunshine Coast Council to rally troops for Halls Creek battle
PUBLIC opinion could help decide the fate of a controversial Caloundra residential development earmarked to span the equivalent of 1400 rugby league fields.
There will be a call for community feedback as Sunshine Coast Council mounts a case to remove the Halls Creek development, planned to be built south of the 50,000-population Caloundra South, from the drawing board.
The council has voted unanimously to include Halls Creek in its new planning scheme but vowed to fight to have the parcel of land removed from the document as an area for development.
The decision followed mounting pressure to align the Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme with the South East Queensland Regional Plan, to allow future development to forge ahead.
Mayor Mark Jamieson said the council will now work towards creating a submission to convince the State Government that Beerwah East would be a better location for growth.
Both Halls Creek and Beerwah East Corridor will be investigated as potential growth areas in the South East Queensland Regional Plan and Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme.
Cr Jamieson said Halls Creek would further diminish the Moreton Bay to Sunshine Coast inter-urban break, affect water quality in Pumicestone Passage and fail to take advantage of existing and planned investments in transport infrastructure.
The council, together with the local state members, will advocate to have the preferred growth corridor between Beerwah township and the Bruce Highway as more viable site for future residential development.
"The review of the SEQ Regional Plan is expected to be finalised by the end of the year and council is working to prepare a preliminary submission as part of ongoing representations to the State Government about the identified growth areas in the current SEQ Plan," Mr Jamieson said.
The inclusion of Halls Creek allowed the historic Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme go ahead.
The plan is a significant event which delivers one plan for the region for the first time since amalgamation.
"The scheme will provide the right conditions for businesses to prosper and continues council's vision to create balance between a sustainable economy, environment and community," Mr Jamieson said.
The Urban Development Institute of Australia has applauded the council's ongoing commitment to the planning scheme, saying it will boost business confidence, lock in billions of dollars in investment and drive significant new jobs to the region.
"The new planning scheme together with the progress being made on the Sunshine Coast University Hospital and Maroochydore Principal Activity Centre clearly demonstrates that our green shoots are starting to take hold," UDIA Sunshine Coast president Andrew Stevens said.
The South East Queensland Regional Plan, which sets out the state's planning interests to accommodate 4.4 million people by 2031, is set to be released by the end of the year.
The Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme is expected to be released on May 21.
Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme Facts
- One plan for the region, replacing the old Maroochy and Caloundra schemes
- First planning scheme in Queensland to fully incorporate the single State Planning Policy
- Three rounds of public consultation, beginning with community feedback on the Statement of Proposals in 2009, a local area consultation in 2010 and draft scheme consultation in 2012
- During draft scheme consultation in 2012, council visited about 35 locations across the Coast and received 2880 submissions
- Five years of hard work and collaboration with councillors, staff and the community to reach this point