Aerial view over Alexandra Bay in the Noosa National Park, looking south to Sunshine Beach and beyond. Picture: Lachie Millard
Aerial view over Alexandra Bay in the Noosa National Park, looking south to Sunshine Beach and beyond. Picture: Lachie Millard

Stoush erupts over plans to protect Noosa’s shores

A battle is brewing over Noosa Shire Council's plans to safeguard its valuable coastline.

A new residents group has formed in a bid to fight back against what it says is "buck passing to residents" by council.

The draft Coastal Hazard Adaptation Plan, an initiative which was started by the previous Noosa Council, has sparked the birth of the Eastern Beaches Protection Association.

The newly-minted group lodged a damning submission to council, outlining their concerns the plan as drafted would do nothing to protect the local environment but cause significant economic cost to several communities.

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Association spokeswoman Minna Knight said the planning changes wouldn't just affect the eastern beaches "but will ultimately have to extend to homeowners in low-lying areas in the future".

Eastern Beaches Protection Association spokeswoman Minna Knight.
Eastern Beaches Protection Association spokeswoman Minna Knight.

"A growing number of locals are incensed that the plan, as drafted, proposes draconian measures on property owners but does nothing to save our coastline and waterways - that Council is trustee for," she said.

"There's a groundswell happening. More people are learning that the draft plan does absolutely nothing to protect our beaches, waterways and public land, but can still have a significant economic cost caused by Council proposing planning changes stopping people improving their homes."

Noosa Mayor Clare Stewart said the process had been instigated by the previous council and there were time constraints being imposed by the state government.

She said she would've liked the community to have had more time for consultation, but added it was "very important" that council sought community input and listened to its needs.

She said council had met with the Association in chambers and were determined to work with local groups to find a solution.

Ms Stewart said she'd received "a lot of feedback" on the plan and made clear this was only the first step in the process.

She said for any future planning amendments to be made they would have to trigger amendments to the town plan and be made by council resolution.

Ms Stewart said she'd advocated for the consultation period to be extended for "as long as possible" given the time pressure council was facing.

Noosa Mayor Clare Stewart.
Noosa Mayor Clare Stewart.

She said council needed to look "very closely" at all submissions and take concerns and arguments on board in any future decision making.

Ms Knight said the group considered there to be major flaws in the draft plan related to dune growth, overstated possible erosion and an omission of technical studies and reports.

She said residents had only been given a few weeks to analyse a documents years in the making.

"It looks like council is trying to ram a bad plan through and this 'tick a box' consultation is a front for doing absolutely nothing about protecting the beaches and waterways they are trustee for," Ms Knight said.

Ms Knight said the Association's submission had been supported by a range of professionals and showed the draft plan wasn't strong enough to support planning changes yet, if ever.

"Council should now get on with actually protecting the public beaches and creeklines it is responsible for rather than passing the buck," she said.

The Association had sought a meeting with Deputy Premier and State Planning Minister Steven Miles as well as other representatives across all three levels of government.



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