EVENTS POLICY: Noosa Main Beach events such as the festival of surfing should be safeguarded under the new council policy.
EVENTS POLICY: Noosa Main Beach events such as the festival of surfing should be safeguarded under the new council policy. Jamaica Lipson

Council looks to limit Main Beach east events

A MAYORAL push to eventually remove all cultural and food festival events from the Noosa's Main Beach east has been narrowly defeated at the monthly council meeting.

The newly adopted Noosa Council policy Main Beach events policy will retain seven tourism events that should include the Noosa Food & Wine Festival plus Noosa Alive!

However, under new policy guiding principles for staff, Noosa Main Beach west would be the preferred location for cultural and food events.

Mayor Tony Wellington had argued for the council policy to approve Noosa Main Beach east events which "intrinsically require the beach location for their activities" such as sporting, lifesaving, swimming and surfing events.

His motion, eventually defeated 4-3 read: "There will be a transition of cultural festival/food festival events away from Main Beach east towards Noosa Lions Park and/or Noosa Woods and/or Noosa Main Beach west, with the intention to eventually achieve no cultural festival/food festival events at Noosa Main Beach east".

"We had general consensus amongst the councillors that we need to protect Main Beach being one of our primary assets from over exploitation in terms of the number of events," Cr Wellington said.

"There is an increased number of proposed events coming to council that wish to utilise Main Beach. Quite clearly it is an iconic part of our shire.”

The mayor said there is also a significant impact as a result of events on Main Beach.

"Apart from the fact, that the events themselves ruin the natural amenity of the beach, we know that they also impede people's recreational use of the beach,” he said.

"We are getting feedback from visitors that are staying in Hastings St that events tend to disturb not only their view of the beach, but also create noise which creates disturbance which upsets their supposed relaxing holiday in Noosa," the mayor said.

He said councillors have agreed on the need to contain the number of events on Main Beach and they need to give staff direction on how to manage the increasing number of applications.

Cr Wellington said the over-arching intent of his motion was to reinforce that this beach area was primarily for residents and visitors as the policy notes.

"Noosa's status as the relaxation capital of Australia is not always consistent with a public asset like Main Beach which is too frequently being assailed by marquees and music and loud noise.”

He wanted to be able to say to applicants: "it is our intention to phase out events on Noosa Main Beach east that do no actually require the beach. This refers to food and cultural events that could perfectly well be placed somewhere else."

Deputy Mayor Frank Wilkie said his difficulty with this proposal was the discrimination against cultural events.

Cr Wilkie said this would move two cultural events away from the beach but would still allow seven tourism events which would have a similar impact.

"I think by moving the cultural events away, we're actually opening the door for more events on the beach," he said.

Cr Ingrid Jackson failed in a bid to have the number of tourism events at the eastern beach reduced from seven to five to counter that possibility.

She said this was about reducing the impact on the beach for the people using the beach.

Cr Joe Jurisevic saying there were seven historical events there, including cultural events and he would not support this, while Cr Frank Pardon said this was "policy on the run".

Cr Jess Glasgow said the council will just have to manage the current seven key events better in the current location.

"If in time it does happen to be where he have to move our events down to Noosa Beach west, then we'll deal with that when it comes," Cr Glasgow said.

Cr Brian Stockwell said the mayor has previously read out a host of complaints from people paying up to $700 a night because council has permitted a beach event in front of their accommodation with loud music throughout the night for several days.

"That is something that we don't want repeated. It is an abnegation of our responsibilities," Cr Stockwell said.

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