Community groups join forces to send a loud message

Community members try to gain admission to Sekisui forum outside Sekisui House
Community members try to gain admission to Sekisui forum outside Sekisui House John McCutcheon

FRUSTRATED community groups have joined forces to send the Sunshine Coast Council a loud message - don't mess with our town plan.

As many as 17 groups, all the way from Caloundra to Peregian and across the hinterland, have decided if they speak together, perhaps they have more chance of being heard.

Development Watch, (Mooloolaba) Spit Protection Association, Eumundi, Doonan and Verrierdale Group where just some of the names who attended a meeting this week to agree to work together

Development Watch president Lyn Saxton said the groups weren't forming a new group.

"We have not formed another group. We all got together to talk about the fact we have the same concerns and we are working out a strategy to deal with this,” she said.

The strategy involved deciding on "the most effective way to collectively send a message to council and the State Government that the communities of the Sunshine Coast want the 2014 Planning Scheme respected and delivered upon, not manipulated for the benefit of developers and/or the development industry”.

Concerns about the council's decision making since the town plan was introduced led to the unprecedented decision to gather together and look for a solution.

Ms Saxton said already other community groups had indicated they would like to join.

"The big problem is the mayor (Mark Jamieson) said the planning scheme was there to provide certainty for the community.

"Since he said that there has been nothing but uncertainty.

"When you are so flexible with a planning scheme, it sends a message to developers they can do whatever they want.

"People expect the planning scheme to be upheld. We understand the need for a bit of flexibility, but not the drastic major changes we've seen.”

Ms Saxton said the council allowing "retrospective approval” of changes to Mooloolaba's Aria development was one example where the community was not being heard.

"There are also plans to increase building heights in Mooloolaba, which will be an absolute nightmare.

"And Sekisui is one that is absolutely determined to build something outside the planning scheme.”

Ms Saxton said the community groups couldn't understand why the council seemed determined to change its own planning scheme.

"There is a lot of development happening all over the coast, but it seems they (the council) are not satisfied.”

Topics:  community groups development watch planning scheme spit protection association town plan

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.