Caloundra South or Aura is a large 2350 hectare urban development at the southern end of the Sunshine Coast which will create around 20,000 dwellings and provide homes for 50,000 people within a stones throw of the internationally significant Pumicestone Passage Wetlands.

SCEC has been campaigning to secure conditions that will provide the greatest possible environmental protection throughout the life of this development. Issues of particular concern include: storm water quality, sediment erosion, survival of wallum frog population, revegetation,  creeks and riparian areas, fauna crossings.

The site was first identified as a future urban growth area by the Caloundra City Council who envisaged a target population of between 10-20 thousand people. The site was included in the first SEQ Regional Plan (2006) which proposed the creation of around 20,000 dwellings and increased the target population to 40-50 thousand people. 

Caloundra South History

After the Council amalgamation process of 2008, planning for the development became the responsibility of the newly formed Sunshine Coast Council. In October 2010 the State Government then seized planning control for the area, handing it to the Urban Land Development Authority (ULDA), which is now known as Economic Development Queensland.

Before Stockland was able to commence development on the site it was required to receive Federal Approval under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act to ensure the development does not negatively impact on matters of national environmental significance. Stockland prepared a Public Environment Report (PER) detailing the expected impacts from the development and the proposed responses to avoid or minimise these impacts. To access this document, click here. You can also find Stockland’s original report here.

The Caloundra South development was referred to the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (SEWPaC) Minister in June 2011. The action was approved by SEWPaC on 6 June 2013 with 19 conditions.  Each year Stockland are required to report annually and publish on their compliance under their Federal environmental approval. 

You can view Stocklands environmental, water quality and Wallum Sedge Frog Management Plans on their resources page here.

SCEC's Involvement


SCEC has long been campaigning to secure conditions that will provide the greatest possible environmental protection throughout the life of this development. Issues of particular concern include: storm water quality and nutrient run-off into the Ramsar listed Pumicestone Passage, sediment erosion, revegetation works, creeks and riparian degradation, the ongoing survival of Wallum frog population and fauna crossings.

SCEC provided a submission to the Public Environment Report (PER) under the EPBC Act which was the last statutory opportunity for the community to raise concerns about the environmental impacts of the development. The outcome from this process resulted in the approval of the development with conditions to be adhered to by the developer. The final approval decision can be found here.

SCEC has been actively involved in the planning process for many years, and continues to work with the local council, state government and directly with Stockland to ensure that the development has a NET POSITIVE impact on the environment and uses the best available sustainable design and technology in all facets of the development (from build form to infrastructure, and from transport to revegetation).

SCEC's engagement efforts has focused predominantly on the key concerns below. 


What is SCEC concerned about?

Water Quality & Flow 

The development will significantly alter storm water flows across the site taking nutrients from a newly urbanised area into Lamerough Creek and Bells Creek and on into the Pumicestone Passage (an internationally significant Ramsar Wetland). Water running off the site should meet water quality standards that will aid the recovery of the Pumicestone Passage and should maintain a flood regime that is consistent with historical flooding of environmentally significant areas on and adjacent to the site.



EP Zone & Corridors

The development scheme and master plan make provisions for the revegetation of an environmental protection zone (400 ha) and biodiversity corridors along the creeks that run through the site. The revegetation of these areas should be undertaken as a matter of priority and key stages in the development should be made contingent on the delivery of expected outcomes for the revegetation process. Corridors should actually link the newly revegetated conservation area with existing habitat areas to the North, East and West of the side and should make provisions for safe fauna movement throughout the site and across the Bruce Highway.


Sustainable Design & Technology

The development should deliver buildings (domestic, commercial and industrial) and infrastructure that incorporate the best available sustainable design and technology. Given that the construction of the site will continue for the next 30 years or more, provisions should be made for ongoing monitoring of innovation and strategies should be in place to ensure that the design and technology that is being used is reviewed and updated at each subsequent stage of the development.

Monitoring & Reporting 

Clear provisions need to be made for the ongoing monitoring and reporting of actual environmental impacts with approvals for future stages being made contingent on the achievement of environmental benchmarks.

Now and into the Future

Caloundra South into the future...

SCEC is a member of the Caloundra South Community Stakeholder Reference Group facilitated by Healthy Land and Water.  SCEC remains firmly focused on the developers compliance to the approval conditions at both State and Federal levels. SCEC works constructively with Stockland to ensure compliance, as well as the ongoing maintenance and management of environmental issues relating to the development. 

One of SCEC's member groups, Take Action for Pumciestone Passage Inc. (TAPP) work closely with SCEC to ensure the protection of the beautiful environment of the Pumicestone. The group aim to raise awareness of the declining health and environmental integrity of the passage. TAPP also work with the community and other stakeholders towards protecting this beautiful environment.