IN NEWS that was released late last week the owner of a large parcel of land at Coolum West which was earmarked to be developed into a Kelly Slater-endorsed wave park has been sold to Sunshine Coast Regional Council for $6 million dollars.
Owner Consolidated Properties Group (CPG) said in their statement that their “dream” was now over with the sale of the 120ha site.
CPG Chairman and CEO Don O’Rorke said that they were “disappointed not to be able to deliver the Kelly Slater Wave Pool and associated resort.”
“We do understand Sunshine Coast Regional Council’s (SCRC) strong desire to protect floodplain capacity and maintain these lands in public hands in perpetuity.
“CPG for over 40 years has been developing projects respecting community wishes and has always worked to have a constructive relationship with Councils, and as a believer in climate change we support SCRC’s initiative.”
Sunshine Coast Regional Council validated the future plans for the new acquisition.
“SCRC has secured 120ha of land at Yandina Coolum Road, Coolum, with plans to introduce tidal waters to aid the natural transition to wetland habitat, helping improve the quality of water flowing into the river from the site and creating a place for the community to come and connect with nature.”
Division 9 Councillor Maria Suarez was quick to state that this was a “real win for the community.”
“The community will be really relieved because it will ensure the flood storage will remain and the land will no longer come under threat.”
The site adjoins the Coolum Creek Environment Reserve, which provides fish breeding areas and habitat for threatened species such as the Water Mouse.
Local development watchdog OSCAR was elated with the news that the wave park was not going ahead with President Melva Hobson congratulating Council and Maria Suarez.
“We also need to thank the community and all the groups in the community who met with CPG. It was always a respectful exchange and their President Don O’Rorke was honest and mindful as to what we wanted.”
Coolum Residents Association were another one of the community groups that attended meetings with CPG’s Don O’Rorke, and spokesperson Ray Barber was also quick to thank Council.
“CRA wants to thank Councillor Maria Suarez for the conservation outcome at Coolum West.
“Maria seems well aware that we should develop on development land and conserve on conservation land. It’s plain common sense but sometimes gets overlooked.”
THE FUTURE OF THE SITE
The former cane land will be rejuvenated back to a natural wetland state and form another part of the Blue Heart.
“This is another example of what’s exciting about the Blue Heart: benefits for biodiversity; creating nature-based recreation opportunities; and increasing opportunities for Council’s ongoing Blue Carbon investigations and trials,” Cr Suarez said.
Blue Carbon farming involves measuring and earning credits for carbon stored in healthy marine and coastal ecosystems.
The purchase secured one of the biggest and most significant single land holdings in the Blue Heart project area, bringing publicly owned land within this major green space to almost 1700ha.
The $6 million land purchase was secured through the SEQ City Deal, a long-term partnership between the Australian Government, Queensland Government and Council of Mayors (SEQ) that allocated $35.3 million to the Blue Heart initiative.
The SEQ City Deal aims to improve liveability, jobs creation, transport and communities in south-east Queensland.
WHAT IS THE BLUE HEART?
Blue Heart Sunshine Coast is an innovative partnership-based project committed to sustainable and adaptive floodplain management in the Maroochy River catchment, with the project area covering more than 5,000ha across publicly and privately held land.
Partners include Council, the Queensland Government’s Department of Environment and Science, and UnityWater.
Cr Suarez said the majority of the Blue Heart was privately owned and the project sought to help landholders understand and adapt to changes in the landscape with expected sea level rise.
“To help our landholders in the Blue Heart manage the impacts of climate change, we’re proactively trialling new opportunities such as Blue Carbon farming, which could provide alternative incomes for landholders as some traditional agricultural industries become less viable.”