Tosca the turtle now mascot for opposition to Yaroomba plan
TOSCA the Turtle has become the mascot for protestors urging Sunshine Coast Council not to make planning scheme changes to allow high-rise development at Yaroomba.
The Coolum Residents Association has produced a bumper sticker featuring Tosca being drawn to the bright light of a high-rise resort tower, to symbolise the likely impact on green and loggerhead turtle nesting sites in the Yaroomba dunes.
Paul "Fuzz" Stephens of Signoptix, which created the "Wrong Way SEKISUI" stickers, said "everyone" wanted to help in any way they could to get the word out so politicians knew who they should be listening to.
Coolum Residents Association president Jen Mazoudier said school children were more aware of the threats to the turtles than some councillors appeared to be.
What's your biggest concern with the Sekisui plan?
This poll ended on 27 September 2015.
I don't want high-rise buildings breaking up the look of the area.
I'm against the kind of environmental damage developments cause.
I'm worried we'll lose jobs and economic benefit if it's rejected.
I'm worried about the closed-door sessions the SCRC has been having.
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
She said although formal plans for a development application had yet to be presented to council, large-scale development involving a high-rise hotel was not speculation.
"Evan Aldridge, representing Sekisui House, has declared that a 12-storey hotel would best suit Sekisui's business model,'' Ms Mazoudier said.
"Tosca the Turtle is symbolic of the struggle of all wildlife to exist. With the added threat from developers at the turtle breeding site in Yaroomba, local community sentiment is escalating.
"The community is supportive of development on this site. To suggest that we oppose development is both erroneous and a mischievous tactic.
"However, developers must stay within the town plan, as agreed after consultation with the community and council agreeing on low-rise and low visual impact.
"The height limit is 8.5 metres, not a high-rise of 48 metres. I suggest Sekisui look at a business model Hayman Island used over 25 years ago, creating international destination status. It was not achieved with a tombstone appearance of high-rise."
The residents' association hopes to find demand for the bumper stickers among school holiday tourists and not just Coast residents.
"I hope that visitors driving from Brisbane, Toowoomba, Ipswich and the many regional areas who come to the Sunshine Coast to enjoy the natural beauty of its surrounds and wildlife, will travel home with a message on their vehicle in support of the plight of Tosca the Turtle to survive for their children and grandchildren to love, admire and protect,'' Ms Mazoudier said.
"The turtle population would be decimated by the effects of artificial light from high-rise development of 12 storeys.
"Breeding turtles can decide their course from 200 metres out to sea. If they do come in to lay eggs, the hatchlings can be confused by artificial light and perish."
Bumper stickers in support of Tosca the Turtle are available through local environment groups or email@example.com