28 September 2020
SIGNS SHOW WHY COMMUNITY SAYS NO TO COOLUM WEST AND WHY STATE MUST REJECT
The campaign to stop intensive urban development in the Maroochy River floodplain at Coolum West has taken to telling the real story on eye-catching road side story boards in and around Coolum.
“It’s important to understand this proposal is not about a ‘wave pool’ says Narelle McCarthy from the Sunshine Coast Environment Council, one of six community groups opposing the development.
“It is a large-scale residential and commercial development on extremely flood-prone land in the middle of the ‘Blue Heart with the Maroochy River catchment– an innovative and world leading blue carbon project providing multiple, long term benefits including flood mitigation, habitat and wetland restoration, recreation and sustainable jobs in nature based tourism.”
“The proposal by Consolidated Properties would negatively impact on the considerable merits and public interest benefits of the Blue Heart, unnecessarily increase flood risk with extensive filling of the floodplain and threaten the ecologically important Maroochy River and its ecosystems .” Ms McCarthy explained.
Consolidated Properties is directly lobbying the state government to have its speculatively purchased 550ha parcel declared a Priority Development Area (PDA) due to extensive conflicts with a raft of long-standing local and state planning instruments, zonings and policies.
“The state can’t ignore the significant constraints of this land, the environmental risks and the considerable and ongoing benefits of the Blue Heart Project. This highly inappropriate proposal pitched as a ‘surf ranch’ but no more than a Trojan horse for ill-conceived urban sprawl should not be entertained and must be rejected outright.”
The signs provide a visual snapshot of just some of the key issues of the proposal:
1. 1500+ houses and extensive urban development within the Maroochy River floodplain
2. Extraction of water from the ecologically significant Maroochy River to pump through the wave pool and the ‘waterfront lots’
3. The unacceptable impacts on the Blue Heart undermining its objectives and multiple benefits including wetland and wildlife habitat restoration and climate change resilience.
4. Increased traffic on an already congested road network and loss of amenity
“While the story boards coincide with an on-line petition that has garnered thousands of signatures as community opposition to this inappropriate development grows, it is disappointing some are intent on silencing community voices with a multiple sets of signs ‘disappearing’ within a short period of them being set-up along Yandina-Coolum Road,” Ms McCarthy said.
The 'Community 6' (OSCAR, Surfrider Sunshine Coast, Friends of Yaroomba, Development Watch, Coolum Residents Association and SCEC representing around 15000 members collectively) is calling on the State Government to urgently and strongly reject the developer's bid for a PDA.” Stated Ms McCarthy.
“The Maroochy River floodplain and its natural systems must perform their vital function of mitigating flooding and protecting the ecologically significant and highly valued Maroochy River unfettered from incompatible urban development.” Ms McCarthy concluded.
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