So what’s the future plan for Pomona?
A YEAR of challenges for Noosa Council has ended with a tough question from Pomona activist Brian O’Connor.
On Thursday, the retired journalist again made use of the ordinary meeting public question time, asking: “What is Noosa Council’s vision for Pomona, and the northern hinterland more generally?”
He also asked the council about its plans for economic development and diversification, rural enterprise and nature-based tourism.
Acting environment and sustainable development director Kerri Coyle said the current economic development plan “outlines the vision and plans for the Noosa Shire and specifies 68 actions”.
“A core principle of the plan and multiple activities have been completed or are under way,” she said.
“A rural and food sector profile was published in 2018, A Taste for Noosa, Tourism Noosa has continued to expand the Noosa Country Drive product and work is continuing on the Noosa Trail Network.
“Country Noosa, Slow Food Noosa and the Food and Agribusiness Network continue to be very active and work collaboratively with Noosa Council,” she said.
Ms Coyle said the proposed new Noosa Plan included a number of changes to support and enable increased opportunities for nature-based tourism activity and accommodation.
“Pomona and the northern hinterland is included as part of the listed activities and planning changes.”
Mr O’Connor’s follow-up question was for details on the actions and time frame of the vision.
Ms Coyle said the local economic plan and new planning scheme provisions were “already contributing to a more sustainable, connected and active hinterland”, with the LEP’s actions to be reviewed in 2020.
Ms Coyle said the strategic framework for these hinterland villages would aim “to protect and preserve these unique, distinct and vibrant local areas”.
“The recently announced expanded community consultation process will provide plenty of opportunity for comment,” Ms Coyle said.
“The budget also includes funding to develop and commence a place-based process in early 2020, where council will work with local areas and towns over the coming years to take a more localised planning approach.”
“The economic development manager and team are available to meet and discuss,” she said.