It’s been a challenging year for everyone, but our work advocating on behalf of our community and evironment must always go on. Here is a summary of PBCA’s work and achievements in 2020 to protect Peregian Beach / Marcus Beach.
The former caravan park site in Peregian Beach
Thomco (Scanlon) applied to the P&E Court to vary the Consent Order of 21 June 2019, to allow the building of the housing estate before the Motel. The Motel will provide low cost visitor accommodation. It went back to Court on 21 February for a March hearing date (2 days).
On behalf of PBCAI, President provided Council with an Affidavit in opposition to the change.
The Appeal was refused so the Motel is required to be built first or at the same time.
PBCAI Proposal to amend the Planning and Environment Court Act 2016
We wrote to Council and Sandy Bolton MP about our proposal seeking to restrict developers making multiple appeals to the Court resulting in inflicting Court costs on Councils and communities.
The Council submitted a motion to the Local Government of Queensland 2020 conference requesting LGAQ lobby the Department of State Development, Infrastructure & Planning for a comprehensive review of the current cost provisions of the Planning & Environment Court Act 2016 with a view to including the ability for the Planning & Environment Court to award costs where a development proposal is found to significantly conflict with the Planning Scheme.
The motion was passed by LGAQ by 201 for and 15 against.
Mayor Clare Stewart said Councils across Queensland supported the motion.
“This effectively means we’ve won the first major battle in reducing the huge cost to ratepayers in defending our planning decisions against claims by developers where an application is in significant conflict with our planning scheme,” Mayor Clare Stewart said at the conference.
“This massive vote in support of our motion means the LGAQ can now lobby the Queensland Government to review how appeal costs are awarded where a development proposal is found to significantly conflict with a council’s planning scheme.”
Council’s cost of appeals brought by developers had risen markedly in recent years, with one costing more than $1 million on its own, even though the application was clearly in major conflict with the 2006 Noosa Plan.
Peregian Beach Surf Club
The Nippers program at Peregian Beach is progressing well. There are 160 Nippers in the program. The training programs for lifesaving have been successful with a further training program early next year. Making the transition to patrols with the right mix of trained and experienced lifesavers is complex and will take some time.
PBCAI has a representative on the Advisory Board, Nigel Robinson. This body provides advice on the establishment of an independent Peregian Beach SLS club.
PBCAi suggested a range of changes to the proposed Supporters Club Constitution and the following were accepted:
· The name of the club, ie Peregian Beach SLS Club rather than the shortened Peregian is to be used in all the marketing of the club including caps and surf shirts for nippers
· The removal of the standard clause about obtaining a license for gambling – consistent with the terms of the lease for the building
· Clarity that the two community committee members have voting rights.
PBCAI raised the lack of information available to the broader community. The Advisory Board Chair indicated he would write a “newsletter’ after every Advisory Board meeting and PBCAI agreed to post these on our social media page.
During the year we supervised 2 grants of $20,000 to Joel Fostin
· for the management of Pandanus dieback caused by the pest insect Jamella australiae across Noosa Shire Managed tenure; and
· to produce 4 videos on the follow up work for the Noosa Shire’s pandanus dieback program.
PBCAI also obtained a $7,500 grant for the David Low Way Restoration and Weed Management Project to restore native plants and support the restoration of an endangered species of butterfly by enhancing its natural habitat through the reserve from the Skin Shop to Lorikeet Creek at the David Low Way Roundabout.
Lorikeet Creek Riparian Rehabilitation
· Using our $11,700 Unitywater grant with Landcare contractors and management allowed PBCAI to prevent introduced species like Singapore daisy, Morning Glory & Syngonium from spreading further and into the wetland that wanders south to Stumers Creek through the Noosa Environmental Park Peregian Section.
· PBCAI’s weeding team have continued to attack the gloriosa and other weed pests in the dunal areas from Piper to Pitta Streets.
Noosa Council’s Environment Strategy.
· As PBCA Representative, Rochelle Gooch attended the Forum where the Strategy was introduced to Noosa’s Environmental Interest groups. It seems to cover all aspects of Noosa’s Environmental Values – meeting ‘Different by Nature’ expectations but we are now looking for the Implementation of the Plan.
· PBCAI successfully worked with Marcus Beach Bushcare Association and bushcare groups in Castaways Beach and Sunshine Beach to develop a plan and secure grant funding for Dunal Rehabilitaton for the Eastern Beaches. We are awaiting a third of the $75,000 to be allocated by Council to the Eastern Beach groups each year for three years.
· PBCAI is represented on a Council working group examining concept design solutions for the High Priority Routes from Cooroy to Noosa Heads and Noosa Heads to Peregian Beach.
· We are aware of a push to establish formal bike paths from Peregian Beach to Peregian Breeze and Peregian Springs through the National Park and other areas. Some of these proposals require a form of crossing over the motorway to get to Peregian Springs that are likely to be prohibitively costly (e.g. $3m for an overpass over the Motorway to Peregian Springs).
· PBCAI’s position is that the existing bike paths up Havana Road over the Motorway, which allows for bicycle access to the schools in Peregian Springs and the Woodland Walk through the National Park meet the stated objectives. Perhaps these existing bike paths need publicity.
Emu Mountain Road/Coolum Roundabout Footpath/Bikepath
· This is a Sunshine Coast Council (SCC) project to be partly funded by a $250k compulsory contribution from the developers of Peregian Breeze which is held by SCC. The project involves a proposed pathway on Emu Mountain Road between Old Emu Mountain Road and David Low Way, Coolum Beach.
· We are advised that SCC is continuing to investigate a number of options for the alignment and type of pathway for this connection. Several concepts have been designed and Council is currently engaging a consultant to undertake flood modelling as this will be an important consideration in selecting a preferred option. These investigations will inform and finalise initial cost estimates and will allow further negotiations with the Department of Transport & Main Roads as the managers of the road corridor.
· It is expected that this stage of the planning will be completed by the end of February 2021
Heron Street Supermarket Development Appeal (Andema Pty Ltd) – former Foodstore
· This matter was recently dismissed by the Planning and Environment Court. The application involved a two storey building with a proposed 70 person roof-top restaurant, but no application for walls or roof to the restaurant to cater for wind, sun and rain, which would result in it rapidly becoming 3 storeys.
· PBCAI has been requesting NSC to take action about the unsightly and unhealthy state of the premises.
· The developer is now appealing Council’s refusal to extend the 2012 approval which it had failed to act on before its expiry.
Dune Infrastructure Policy
· We wrote to Council on 17 November 2020, after our well-attended November meeting where the following motion was carried unanimously.
That PBCA notify Noosa Council that:
PBCA supports community infrastructure when it is located at a public beach access, provided it is appropriately designed and built, relocatable and sited as far back from the high tide mark as is possible, while still achieving its community purpose of access to the beach and the view. Its siting should also recognise the need to avoid dunal erosion and damage to flora.
PBCA submits that other non-Council infrastructure does not comply where it is for private purposes and not community infrastructure.
1. PBCAI requests that Noosa Council adopt and promulgate this policy and implement the removal of non-complying dune infrastructure either by Council or by the persons who have installed it;
2. PBCAI would like to meet with suitably authorised Council staff to discuss the infrastructure that has been identified for removal, and to discuss any non-complying dune infrastructure which has not yet been identified for removal, so as to ascertain a timeline for its removal.
· We have now been advised that early in 2021, “Council will indeed consider a new policy regarding coastal encroachment, and the feedback from PCBAI will be incorporated into its development. It is anticipated that this will be an interim policy, prior to a full and cohesive Coastal Management Plan, that will deal with the broader issues of encroachment and environmental management on the 11km Eastern Beaches coastal strip, in the next financial year. This planning project was identified in the Noosa Environment Strategy when it was endorsed in 2019.
· Council staff have already formed an internal working group for the future Coastal Management Plan to start developing a project scope, and once funding has been secured for next financial year, will formally engage with the community.
Peregian Beach Boardwalk tender
· We have been advised that the tender for the replacement of the boardwalk to the north of the life savers’ radio shack should be let early in 2021.
· PBCAI is disappointed that the community is still waiting for this tender to be approved. This piece of Council infrastructure was allowed to significantly deteriorate before being closed off to the public and left as an eye-sore, now for several years. The community has had nothing but promises for far too long. See the attached photo.
· This is also a safety issue and a cause of community concern.
· “Have your say” consultation occurred in November 2018. PBCAI was advised a considerable time ago that plans were prepared, apparently to duplicate the boardwalk to the south, but we are unaware that these plans have been published by Council. We have requested a copy of the plans.
· PBCAI would appreciate the expedition of the construction of this facility, which we understand has now been funded by a State grant.
· We have written to Council in these terms.
Flight Path issues
PBCAI has made 3 submissions this year – firstly in response to the report by the Aircraft Noise Ombudsman (ANO) that was scathing about the consultation process conducted by ASA and SCC for residents north of the Maroochy River on flight paths and their impacts. The ASA Board agreed to implement the ANO’s recommendations.
The two key concepts in the ANO recommendation for a specifically tailored Post-Implementation Review (PIR) are:
1. that the community engagement process should allow the community input to influence the outcome; and
2. That the community could put forward alternate flight paths for assessment by ASA without the constraints of the previous EIS.
The second was a short submission seeking the right to participate in the ASA Community Meeting about the first draft of the Terms of Reference (ToR) for the PIR.. The submission was successful and PBCAi was represented by Brian Hoepper at the meeting.
The third submission related to the ToR v2 generally supporting the very detailed submission by Flight Path Forum.
PBCAI also raised funds for FPF through direct donations from members and selling raffle tickets for the FPF raffle.