A 20-year plan out to enhance Noosa and save the koalas
AS 20-year plans go, Noosa is raising the bar high with aims that include a growing koala population, net household incomes above the state average, a Biosphere glowing with diversity and locals with an envious wellbeing level.
Councillors were expected to have adopted last night the updated 2017-2037 Noosa Council Corporate Plan and have plenty of good decision-making ahead if they are to assist in overcome the household income deficit, currently listed as more than $13,000 below the state average. The corporate plan also aims to manage growth, retaining the village feel, while seeing off the motor vehicle as the primary mode of transport.
Cr Joe Jurisevic believes there are some "wonderful aspirations” in long-term goals such as looking to relocate the regional art gallery and planning for Noosa's ageing population.
And Cr Jurisevic lauded the aim of establishing a "globally recognised university research centre focused on sustainability”.
"You never know when the opportunities present themselves,” he said.
"Stage two of Peregian Hub would be an excellent example.”
Council CEO Brett de Chastel said the corporate plan had kept Noosa in "pretty good shape to date”.
"I think we're further down the path than I would have thought we would have been after this time, but we still have a lot to do.
"We keep punching out through our capital works and all the other things we're doing now and we obviously have an election coming up in March 2020.”
He said that six months after that, it would be time to review where the new council was up to and the priorities for the next five years leading on to the overall 20-year goals.
Noosa had already achieved one of the 2037 goals, of having unemployment lower than the state average.
Cr Jurisevic warned that it would only take one small setback to change this and Deputy Mayor Frank Wilkie warned about underemployment rates.
Mr de Chastel said Noosa's unemployment rate was still sitting at 4.5 per cent compared to the Sunshine Coast's 5 per cent and the state average at 6.1 per cent.
"They're amazing figures, I haven't seen this sort of thing for 20 years. In 2012 it was two-and-a-half per cent above the state average.
"A lot of those jobs I think that have been created have been in tourism,” he said.
The CEO said while more jobs were being created than a few years back, they were lower paying jobs and the aim was to help grow the higher scale wage-earning positions in digital, health and wellness or professional services.