Surf loving Stephen makes a tourism point
SUNSHINE Beach local Stephen Gregg arrives at his appointment as a new Tourism Noosa board member, not with so much baggage, but fond teenage memories of living out of a panel van at First Point.
And these visits were not just when the Point was pumping but just about every weekend.
All in all, his grassroots stays were the grounding of a long career in tourism which saw him appointed chairman to its peak body, Tourism and Events Queensland.
Last year that saw Mr Gregg win the "outstanding contribution by an individual" award at the Queensland Tourism Awards.
This was after more than 30 years in the corporate world serving also in the transport sector as head of Queensland Rail Ltd and swag of other appointments.
Over coffee in Tewantin, the Sunshine Beach resident spoke of his personal attachment to Noosa and what he hoped to bring to the Tourism Noosa board.
"I just wake up every day and pinch myself and thank the Lord I live here," he said.
"I love the nature, I kayak all the creeks, love the surf and I mountain bike ... I certainly enjoy the benefits of living here."
Mr Gregg said he was a Queenslander "through and through, born in Brisbane".
"As soon as I left high school, every weekend we lived at First Point in our panel van. "I've had a house here for nearly 20 years and about six or seven years ago we pulled that down and I was able to start building a new one.
"This is where I live, and I want to make a contribution to my local community and this is probably the most constructive one I can do because of my knowledge and my experience," Mr Gregg said.
He said Noosa was "naturally blessed obviously, but the thing is for a place like this is to see your growth happen in a way that is sustainable. You can't have a stagnant industry because operators costs aren't stagnant so we need to find a way to manage the peak times and the issues that's creating.
"We have to find the solution to problems not turn our back on them," Mr Gregg said.
He said Noosa was "not the only place in the world that is popular and has peaks", so the local community has to look at the pressure points and plan to alleviate them.
Mr Gregg said the new Noosa board was a good mix of industry experience.