'Build it and they will marry'
NOOSA business has been urged by CCIQ Noosa to build a dedicated wedding chapel facility to take advantage of the growth sector, possibly at Lake Macdonald.
The business lobby breakfast at Peppers Noosa Resort questioned the council's commitment in this area, pointing out that there were lucrative wedding chapels in Maleny and Montville.
But Mayor Tony Wellington believes the shire is already a major wedding destination, with the council issuing 430 wedding permits in Noosa last year.
"Noosa is a wedding venue. We have identified (wedding) places in the Noosa Heads area, there are five in the botanic gardens and people also use parks,” Councillor Wellington said.
"People come here basically because of the natural beauty, so it's not a wedding in a building generally that they're seeking when they come here.
"They're usually seeking an outdoor venue and the most popular venues are the series of spots that we have along the Noosa Spit where people can get married with the ocean in the background.”
The Mayor said that, as far as he knew, the Montville and Maleny chapels were privately run.
"If a business came to Noosa Council and said 'we want to set up a chapel' we would happily consider under the usual development process,” he said.
He said the Noosa Botanic Gardens planning review was under way and "by all means if you think there should be a wedding chapel there, then throw your two bits into the master plan”.
Cr Frank Pardon said when the botanic gardens were being developed the council had looked at moving an old Queenslander there as "a perfect set-up for weddings”.
"In the master plan, I'll be throwing my two bobs' worth in for that,” Cr Pardon said.
He said the Cooroy Memorial Hall, when it was rebuilt, would be a great hinterland wedding venue again.
"We have the beautiful hinterland, I think there's opportunities for those people to get engaged through their halls and facilities.”
Cr Brian Stockwell said he had raised a possible "multi-purpose” wedding chapel as part of the Noosaville foreshore review.
Cr Jurisevic said there was already a bush chapel at Lake Macdonald near the Camp Cooroora Scouts centre "so facilities are available ... it's a matter whether people are aware” of them.
Deputy Mayor Frank Wilkie said Tourism Noosa had a sub group already working away to foster Noosa's growing wedding industry.