Day trip ban denied by Mayor
A DAY tripper numbers cap is not on Noosa Council's agenda "at this point in time”, Noosa Mayor Tony Wellington told CCIQ Noosa business folk at a working breakfast to reflect on his administration's first year in local government.
Cr Wellington and his six councillors at Peppers Noosa Resort were asked if the council was providing a "mixed message if we're welcoming some visitors and penalising others”
Cr Wellington said it was "important to note there has been debate in the media on this issue and that somehow Noosa Council is being blamed for things that other people have said”.
"We are not trying to prevent day trippers coming to Noosa, we are not talking about a cap on visitors at this point in time,” he said.
"It is true that day trippers contribute to the economy. Day trippers are 60% of the visitors to the shire and they spend $111 million (a year).
"The overnight visitors from interstate, and overseas and elsewhere are 40% of the visitors to the shire and they spend over $600 million.
"The vast majority of the money that is spent here is being spent here by people who come and stay and that's fairly logical.”
He said Tourism Noosa had been focussing on the high-yield visitor.
"In terms of the transport strategy, we've simply thrown out a wide range of options for consideration,” the mayor said.
"What we want to do is change people's intentions when they come here so they don't simply expect that they can drive into Hastings St and park.
"That's the problem we've got, that's the problem we're trying to solve. We're not trying to prevent day trippers.”
He said the council was looking at options like park and ride like free shuttle bus rides. The cap on day trippers was first raised by Noosa Parks Association president Dr Michael Gloster while former mayor Noel Playford noted that one over-loved English coastal town has a boom gate that comes down when a visitor quota is reached.
Cr Brian Stockwell said when Mr Gloster and Mr Playford "throw a hand grenade into the public domain, it's a conversation we have to have”.
"It's 'what is the sustainable (traffic) carrying capacity of Noosa as we want it to be?' and the current trajectory says we won't get there.”
He said the "overt planning of Cooroy” had developed it the "way we want it to be and you look at Nerang” on the Gold Coast.
"You try and move around the Gold Coast on a holiday weekend or even any weekend.
"Does this community funnel its attention on catering for demand or getting to the place we need to be?”
Deputy Mayor Frank Wilkie said the council "cannot prevent anyone from coming here” and everyone was welcome.
He said the strategy aimed to address congestion and one approach was to "use pricing signals to encourage those who arrive by car to perhaps consider taking alternative transport means into the congested areas”.
"Perhaps if paid parking is introduced they can still choose to access Hastings St and park,” Cr Wilkie said.
He said it would be both the carrot and the stick approach, while Cr Jess Glasgow said the council would not adopt a "boom gate philosophy where we're cutting things off, it's about looking to the future”.
Cr Ingrid Jackson said tourism Noosa was not attempting to undermine day trippers and "in fact many (Noosa) businesses cater to those people”.
"We welcome everyone and our job is to make it easy to move around,”
Cr Joe Jurisevic said the challenge was to manage the expectations of the community with the "increased pressure that comes to the immediate development to the south -
a population that is going to grow to half a million people and every increasing pressure from the people of Brisbane”.