ARIA's proposed No. 1 Esplanade at Mooloolaba.
ARIA's proposed No. 1 Esplanade at Mooloolaba. Contributed

Business council backs higher buildings

THE Sunshine Coast Business Council has thrown its support behind a council plan to relax the height limits and site coverage of developments in Mooloolaba, claiming it will bolster the area's reputation as a premier tourism destination.

Sunshine Coast Regional Council is pushing ahead with a raft of amendments to its 2014 planning scheme, saying they are necessary to "transform Mooloolaba into a world class beach destination”.

The business council agrees, with chair Sandy Zubrinich saying the changes will encourage the delivery of a five-star, international-standard hotel and bolster Mooloolaba's reputation as a premier tourism destination.

The move comes as a telephone poll of almost 68,000 people found 75% believed high-rise development should be confined to the CBD and specified tourist pecincts on the Coast but 68% said the community did not have enough input into the approval of developments.

Sunshine Coast Business Council chair Sandy Zubrinich.
Sunshine Coast Business Council chair Sandy Zubrinich. ben vos

If adopted, the proposed amendments would increase the development potential of Aria's site opposite Mooloolaba Surf Club as well as the Brisbane Rd carpark site and properties in First Ave between Meta St and Venning St.

It would also impact on propertiees in Walan, Muraban and Venning streets where a new Mooloolaba "heart” is proposed.

Ms Zubrinich said a five-start resort opposite the surf club would not only drive tourist traffic but also create a significant number of construction jobs as well as long-term employment opportunities on completion.

"This is a much-needed injection for our economy and it is imperative that changes be made if we want to increase tourism and offer locals reasons to stay and spend here rather than heading away from the Sunshine Coast.”

Ms Zubrinich said the amendments were in line with the Place Making Mooloolaba Master Plan adopted by council last year and would play an important role in delivering on the modern vision for the area if given the green light.

"Extensive community consultation was undertaken in shaping the masterplan for Mooloolaba, so a lot of thought and careful planning has already gone into creating a blueprint that aligns with the wishes of the majority of local businesses and community members.

"The proposed changes are by no means excessive and will still allow tourists and local residents to make the most of the area's natural landscapes while also posing a number of economic benefits.”

The Sunshine Coast Business Council has lodged a formal written submission to council, stressing its strong support for the amendment.

As many as 17 key community groups, including Development Watch and the Spit Protection Association, last month joined forces to demand council leave the town plan unchanged.


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