CR JASON O’PRAY

Division 8 – Sunshine Coast Council

April 25th, 2021

I was so very proud to open the new North Shore Boardriders Clubhouse recently with a gazillion old crew local surfers at Cotton Tree. Surrounded by lifetime friends we celebrated the future of surfing on the Sunshine Coast. 

And there will be plenty of sand and surf action over the next couple of weeks with the start of The Aussies on April 16. The majority of events are at Mooloolaba, Alexandra Headland and Maroochydore, but possibly some board riding action will be held at Coolum. You are welcome to spectate to cheer on more than 1,000 local life savers compete or watch the live stream. Most importantly please make the 4,000+ visiting life savers and their families feel welcome. Surf lifesaving is a sport for purpose – surf lifesavers train and compete to always be ‘rescue ready’ and I am so excited that we can host this major event here on the coast.

Other major events that are returning this year, include the Queensland Oztag Championships Junior State Cup at the Sunshine Coast Stadium, April 16-18. From Apr 30 – May 3, the Queensland Churches Soccer Association State Titles will be held across Sunshine Coast Stadium, North Shore Multisports Complex, Mudjimba and Park Lakes, Bli Bli. Next month the Volkswagen Scramble Championship Final is being held at Twin Waters Golf Club. 

Late last month I opened the Sunshine Coast Innovations Day and was blown away by this showcase of seventeen innovative businesses with a new product, service or digital solution that would enhance operational performance/improvements for larger businesses, institutions and corporations. Their pitch videos are on Council’s You Tube, so jump online and check them out.

Have you seen the latest on our Australian first Automated Waste Collection System commissioning underway in the new Maroochydore City Centre? ENVAC technical experts are now inspecting the system, and we expect it to be operational mid-year. The Sunshine Coast is leading the nation with this sustainable and innovative technology by constructing Australia’s first, high-tech, underground automated waste collection system for a CBD. 

See you ‘round Div 8!


March 18th, 2021

Have you been to Power Memorial Park at Mudjimba Esplanade lately? It’s one of my favourite spots with modern amenities, playground, barbecues and sheltered picnic areas. I don’t think it could get any better. Are there other recreation areas that need attention? Council is asking for your feedback on parks across the region, via the Draft Recreation Parks Plan. Please tell us what you think. Fill out our quick and easy survey by April 6 – or talk to a council officer about the plan at Maroochydore library on Tuesday March 23 from 9am to 1pm. Visit haveyoursay.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au for details. 

I’m expecting some amazing creations will come out at this year’s SCAP. Entries for the prestigious Sunshine Coast Art Prize are now open. This dynamic visual arts award reflects outstanding contemporary 2D arts in Australia and has a prize pool of more than $30,000 including a major cash prize of $25,000. Entries close May 10. And the best part is that our community gets to keep the entries for future displays. Visit gallery.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au for information.

Do you have a budding actor in your household? Council is offering a chance for them to win great prizes by entering the 2021 Sunshine Coast Get Ready Schools Competition! Create a 30-second video highlighting the importance of having a “WHAT-IF-PLAN” so everyone knows what to do when disaster strikes. Visit haveyoursay.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au to enter by April 30.

Next month the Australian Surf Life Saving Championships, better known, as ‘The Aussies’ will take place over nine days from April 16-24. It will bring together surf life saving competitors from across the country representing their club for the chance to be deemed Australia’s best. It’s more than just a major sporting event, the skills developed in competition directly build and develop competency for a higher purpose – to save lives. Every entrant is a qualified and proficient surf lifesaver and training for surf sport competition ensures individuals are equipped to perform rescues. The Aussies ocean swim is open to both surf life saving club members and non-members. The 2km ocean swim race embodies the essence of fun and participation. To register visit:https://sls.com.au/aussieoceanswim/


February 18th, 2021

The year is off and running, just like the 4000 plus athletes in training for next month’s Mooloolaba Triathlon, which is so good for our tourism operators!  And my local groups are just as energised and ready to meet the challenges of 2021. Mudjimba Residents Association, Marcoola Community Group, Twin Waters Residents Association and North Shore Traders have all had their first meetings for the year and are keeping me busy actioning various ideas and items from these community discussions.

Talking ideas….. If you’ve got a great creative business idea, there’s an eight-week program of workshops, mentoring and connections with creative industry leaders coming up. The Refinery 2021, an initiative of council with SunCentral Maroochydore and Sunshine Coast Creative Alliance, supports independent artists, early-stage entrepreneurs, and creative industry practitioners with an idea ready to go and will culminate in a public showcase to launch participants’ businesses. Applications for this unique creative incubator, designed to refine, test and launch creative ideas into impactful sustainable businesses close midnight March 1. For details – https://www.therefinerysunshinecoast.com/ or follow @therefinery.sc

Not a new idea, but a new service for our region – could you use a FOGO collection?  I’m interested in your views on introducing a third bin for collection of Food Organics and Garden Organics (FOGO). What if you could put all your food scraps in the green bin with your garden waste? Even foods you wouldn’t put in a home compost bin can be put in your FOGO bin like bones, out of date meat, lemon peel, onions, moldy bread, cheese and even dog poo. Make sure you fill out the online survey – haveyoursay.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au before 5pm, March 2.

I’m a big fan of being active and getting out with the family, and what better way to do that than National Ride2School Day on Friday March 19. We expect around 350 children in our region to ride to school for the first time and hopefully start a life-long pattern of active travel. Council is offering great prizes including 4 bike shop vouchers valued at $500, so register your child via council’s website before 5pm, March 19 to enter.

Don’t become COVID complacent, see you ‘round Div 8!


January 28th, 2021

Celebrating the New Year with my family and friends was an absolute blessing, and I wish the community I am honoured to represent, a happy and healthy 2021.

The “Aussies” is 100 per cent ON for April 2021. Surf Life Saving Australia has opened entries to what is usually the biggest surf life saving carnival to take place in Australia. Maroochy, Alex and Mooloolaba SLS clubs are hosting this massive event with COVID safe event plans to ensure entrants and our community stay safe. After such a brutal year, our hospitality and tourism industries are ready for the boost in visitors that this event will bring. Leading up to the Aussies, other major events will roll out through March including the Mooloolaba Triathlon (12-14 Mar) and the Mooloolaba Mile Ocean Swim (21 Mar) – it’s not too late to register!

The Sunshine Coast Australia Day Awards were announced last week, and it is exciting to see local writer Aleesah Darlison win the Creative Award. Aleesah has published 50 books in 10 years and formed a local network of children’s authors and illustrators (SCBWI) enabling local artists to share ideas, knowledge, and opportunities to lift the status and capacity of Sunshine Coast creatives. Due to her vast industry knowledge and giving nature, Aleesah runs child and adult writing workshops, and set up Sunny Kids Writing Workshops where she’s taught hundreds of young local writers. Aleesah has really nurtured the Sunshine Coast literary community in such an invaluable way. 

Our eight annual Clean-up for the Hatchlings will happen in multiple locations including Marcoola and North Shore on Saturday January 30 between 6-11am. Registrations are essential. Sign up today at www.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au/events