This airport project never landed on Noosa North Shore.
This airport project never landed on Noosa North Shore.

Noosa’s 'lost’ developments: What never got off the ground

Noosa Council's recent knock back of the Noosa North Shore wave pool brings to mind the more ambitious, and in the case of one space-inspired project, more "out-there" development bids for this region over the past 60 years.

$20K a night: New wave pool to cater for elite

The battle for Noosa Hill set for courts

Here are 10 that would certainly have left Noosa in different shape today.

 

1. In the 1960s Noosa's residents battled for Noosa National Park. There was a proposal for a coastal road linking Sunshine Beach around the headlands, plus a motel and housing estate at Alexandria Bay. Dr Arthur Harrold and the Noosa Parks Association rallied the conservation troops to have the area saved for national park.

 

The road map for a coastal drive around the Noosa headlands.
The road map for a coastal drive around the Noosa headlands.

2. In the 1970s sand mining leases were earmarked for Cooloola, including the Coloured Sands. Once again the Noosa community, led by Dr Harrold and retired engineer Bill Huxley, had a hard fight to ensure the natural beauty was preserved.

 

3. After looking to go the full-on development route, Noosa Council eventually opted out of big-city symbols like high rise, billboards, traffic lights and parking meters, paving the way for progress in a roundabout way and led to Noosa's "different by nature" branding.

 

The Coloured Sands.
The Coloured Sands.

4. There was serious consideration give to developing a marina and a Club Med style resort on Noosa Spit which was ultimately rejected after more hard-fought battles by locals. The camping ground was eventually removed from the Spit as well to create Noosa Woods.

 

5. In the 1980s there was a push for a Noosa North Shore bridge and jet airport which the Noosa Council rejected and opted for a development control plan. A similar plan was later developed for the Noosa Hill.

 

6. In the early 1990s a space theme park and associated estate development was proposed for Peregian Beach. But it was rejected when the locals dug in, led by the late Heather Melrose.

News coverage from when a space park was proposed in Peregian.
News coverage from when a space park was proposed in Peregian.

7. The development push then moved to the Marcus Shores high dune with a swish hotel proposed as part of a major development of the coastal heathland. This led to the High Noon at the High Dune, ultimately a successful protest against wall-to-wall coastal housing and commercial development.

 

8. In the 2000s the Ridgewood/Eerwah Vale community fought a prolonged battle against high voltage powerlines right through prime koala habitat. Plans were eventually abandoned by Powerlink in 2011.

 

9. Traveston Crossing Dam was proposed by the State Government in the Mary Valley up the road from Noosa Shire, with many locals having their slice of country paradise bought out. However, the Federal Government stepped in on environmental grounds to vindicate a massive community push to save the Mary.

 

10. Noosa on Weyba was proposed for the Noosa and Sunshine Coast council areas for an estate opposed successfully by Friends of Lake Weyba and rejected by both councils.

Locals say they don't want any dam for the Mary Valley.
Locals say they don't want any dam for the Mary Valley.

So where would Noosa be if not for its special brand of community activism?

Welcome to Noosa's parallel universe where a complacent population of YIMBYs (Yes In My Back Yard) are positively grateful for anything generous councils and state governments as well as well-heeled private citizens are keen to "give" them to make life richer … for some at least.

Let's take the New Noosa grand tour of the four-laned David Low Way tollway. On your left we are just passing the Peregian Space Park with artificial lake and land prices over the moon as development goes into interstellar drive and land values rocket.

Now just up the road as we approach the Marcus High Dunes is the High Noon Saloon and Hotel, with its wall-to-wall housing with supermarket and a token pet ground parrot which has by now fallen off its unprotected perch.

As you can see stage 24 of the High Dune Estate is being advertised on the glow in the dark billboard beside the other tastefully designed display board for all those who want longer lasting sex.

Now as we approach the Noosa Junction major flyover and the first of six sets of traffic lights leading into Hastings St we are going to take the Noosa Heads-Sunshine Beach slip lane running around A Bay with direct access via the headlands to Hastings St where all roundabouts are now confined to the swings and slippery dips of the Noosa Heads Lions Park and Ride.

Of course some of you will be getting off at the six-star A Bay Beach resort hotel or staying at any number of Airbnbs in the back-to- back bay estates bordered by the boutique bespoke and monetised national park.

Friends of Lake Weyba make their feelings clear.
Friends of Lake Weyba make their feelings clear.

From the Little Cove expressway you have the first look at the magnificent 20-storey Hawaiian Resort built on the old Noosa Surf Club site. The lifesaving club has

of course moved out to the river mouth to keep a closer eye on the Club Med members staying and playing like a basking colony of Antarctic sea lions on Noosa Spit.

As we cross of the Hastings St to Noosa Sound bridge generously built by the Noosa Hill resort for a closer connected community, we can also gaze across to the North Shore Metro Casino Towers, which forms part of the major resort and residential metropolis hugging the river and serviced by its own international airport.

No longer do we have to queue up impatiently for the Noosa River ferry as we whiz across on the four-lane White Shoe Shuffle Bridge.

Sadly the four-wheel drivers these days cannot escape the rat race by slipping up to Double Island Point as the Cooloola Sand Mining Company has the whole area fenced off, including the beach and patrolled by guard dogs.

You can take the silicon processing factory tour up to the Coloured Slurry Pile which is all that is left of the multi-hued sand cliffs.

High power voltage lines through hinterland Noosa never went ahead after local protests.
High power voltage lines through hinterland Noosa never went ahead after local protests.

Our final leg will take us back from Rainbow Bay's condominium blitz, down the four-lane inland highway diverting back on to the Bruce Highway to take in the magnificent Traveston Crossing Puddle which may, in a 1 in 1000 rain event, actually may form into a damn dam.

We then skirt inland past the Ridgewood High Power Lines camouflaged to look like koala trees complete with animatronic drop bears.

The tour terminates at the Weyba Wow Factor retirement village where the last of the greenies, or "gan-greenies" as most locals call them these days, are pensioned off into their dotage.

But Noosa watch this green space, what little is left of it, there's plenty more to come after somebody sat on and squashed the town's salary cap, forcing the council to rip it up and throw it away on the landfill pile alongside the mountains of one-use plastic a plenty.

As they say in the best investment glossy brochures, "climb on-board, the sky's the limit".


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