Noosa Mayor Clare Stewart. Picture: Mark Cranitch.
Noosa Mayor Clare Stewart. Picture: Mark Cranitch.

Controversial coastal protection plan pushed back

Noosa Council's controversial Coastal Hazards Adaptation Plan has been put on hold to ensure the "right outcome" is achieved for the community.

The Eastern Beaches Protection Association had formed in response to what it claimed buck passing to local residents.

The group made a submission outlining its concerns the plan as drafted would do nothing to protect the local environment but cause significant economic cost to several communities.

Noosa Council confirmed on Wednesday it had succeeded in gaining an extension to the completion of the plan to ensure further consideration of the more than 200 submissions.

A six-week public consultation period wrapped up on March 8.

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Noosa Mayor Clare Stewart said the volume of submissions and level of detail meant council had sought more time to ensure it reached the right outcome.

The Local Government Association of Queensland, which was co-ordinating implementation of the QCoast 2100 program on behalf of the state government, granted what was understood to be an extension of several weeks.

"We want to ensure Council achieves a sensible and measured response to managing coastal hazard risks now and into the future," Ms Stewart said.

"Council staff have been granted special permission to delay submitting the CHAP so we can ensure all submissions are appropriately reviewed and given due regard.

"There are strong opinions and concerns by some sections of the community and it is imperative that we have enough time to work through these.

"We are using this additional time to explore workable solutions put forward by stakeholders."

Noosa is facing some key coastal challenges in the years ahead.
Noosa is facing some key coastal challenges in the years ahead.

The Eastern Beaches Protection Association had written to all councillors recently, raising concerns about what it considered to be council's plan to pre-empt outcome of the adaptation plan and implement changes to the Noosa Plan without informing residents.

The Association cited a letter unearthed during a Right to Information process which it said showed the council had sought to implement changes as early as possible to meet a December, 2020 deadline which it eventually missed.

The letter showed council had sought permission to tailor the process for a planning scheme amendment, to meet a ministerial instruction.

The tailored plan attached to the letter released by Right to Information showed public consultation had been scheduled and the Noosa Plan amendment, draft Coastal Hazards Adaptation Plan and a feasible alternatives assessment report were all to be made available for public comment at the same time.

Association spokeswoman Minna Knight called on council to go back and review the draft Coastal Hazards Adaptation Plan, to address concerns over its ability to protect beaches and low-lying areas and step back from "costly pre-emptive planning measures that unnecessarily hurt homeowners".

Mrs Stewart reiterated her council had heard the community and was committed to reaching workable solutions.

"We have certainly been transparent about this plan and provided significant detail, much more than most other councils in Queensland," she said.

"We certainly appreciate that the state government and Local Government Association of Queensland has given us additional time to ensure the final result is what's best for Noosa."


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