Noosa National Park

72 events that helped shape Noosa

26th November 2018 5:00 AM

FROM bridges and rock walls to nature reserves and a population cap, these events helped shape the Noosa we know and love.

1968 - 1969

A rock wall was erected on Noosa Main Beach.


The construction of new concrete bridges over Lake Doonella and Weyba Creek began.

Efforts were made to stabilise the sandy slope of Noosa Hill.


Members of the Planned Progress group, led by Mrs Marjorie Harrold, battled at court to enjoin high-rise construction in Hastings Street.


The State Government development lease for the area now known as Noosa Sound commenced on January 1. It had been initiated by Cr. Edgar Bennett who mooted already in 1946 the canal development of Hay's and other islands in the Noosa Estuary. Engineering plans for the first 134 lots were ready in July 1972. Dredging started a month after that. Next a concrete retaining wall was constructed around the island followed by a bridge to the Spit near Hastings Street. The development was officially opened in December 1973. In 1974 the bridge across Weyba Creek to Munna Point was built.


In its Town Plan the Noosa Sire Council decreed high-rise development in Hastings Street to be inappropriate. In doing so the council reversed a previous decision which had been challenged by the public.

Public protest also thwarted sand mining in the area between Sunshine Beach and Peregian Beach.


153 hectares of non-waterfront land with a natural drainage outlet to the Noosa River at Hilton Terrace was sold for residential development.


In October approval in principle was given to the canal development known today as Noosa Waters. The approval was finally gazetted in 1989.


The newly extended Noosa Spit was declared open in December. In the frame of this development the river mouth had been shifted from its original position at the end of Noosa Woods several hundred metres to the west. The objective of this enterprise was to protect the area from cyclone damage. The works were financed jointly by the Noosa Council, the State Government and the developer of Noosa Sound.


On December 1 the Noosa Shire Council moved into new premises at Pelican St, Tewantin, which used to be a boarding house known as Riverview/Elanda House/San Elanda. The former Chamber building at Pomona became in 1985 the headquarters of the Cooroora Historical Society Inc. and houses today the Noosa Shire Museum.


The first Noosa Triathlon was staged at Noosa Heads.


Noosa's first Strategic Plan was gazetted. This plan was instrumental in blocking the moves of the Leisuremark development group to build a mega resort on Noosa's North Shore.


The Noosa Council gazetted a shire-wide ban on buildings in excess of four storeys.

The Botanic Gardens at Cooroy were officially opened after three years of work by local volunteers to transform a former unofficial rubbish dump beside Lake Macdonald.

The State Government agreed to council's plan to transform the camping and caravan park at Noosa Woods as well as the balance of Noosa Spit into a public recreational precinct. The camping and caravan park was closed down. Greening Noosa volunteer teams as well as members of the public joined in a massive and highly successful planting effort. Today the area is once again covered by rain forest encompassing picnic areas.

Urban wheelie bin refuse collection services were introduced.


The Historic Cooroy Butter Factory building was purchased by the Noosa Council for community use.


Park Rd at Noosa Heads collapsed during massive February downpours. It had to be closed to vehicular traffic for the necessary repairs.


The council opened its Child Care Centre in Moorindil St, Tewantin, as well as its nine-hectare community complex at Wallace Park, Noosaville. This complex now comprises the Library, the Noosa Leisure Centre, the Respite Centre, the Wallace House arts and crafts centre, the Noosa Parks Association Environment Centre, a specially landscaped aboriginal heritage area, Tewantin-Noosa Meals on Wheels, the Noosa Bridge Club and an Endeavour Foundation training centre.

Recycling bins were added to the urban wheelie bin refuse collection service.


The Cooroy Butter Factory was refurbished for use as a community arts centre.

A timber footbridge mini-replica of the Old Weyba Bridge over Weyba Creek was opened to serve cyclists, pedestrians and anglers.


The council's Development Control Plan was gazetted. It was conceived to protect the environmentally sensitive high dune area of Marcus Shores from development by the T.M. Burke group. The area has since been added to the National Park.

The council purchased a 3.3 hectare site in Grant St, Noosa Junction, for $3.375 million in order to set up parking and community facilities. On part of the site in 2005 the construction of a Youth & Community Centre began.

The Noosa District Community Radio Association Inc. commenced broadcasting.


Water meters were introduced. The objective was to control the consumption of town water by charging money for it.

The Police Beat shopfront building opened on the corner of Noosa Drive and Hastings St.


The Coastal Sewage Collection and Treatment Plant was commissioned. The $52 million project was undertaken by Australian Water Services on a 25-year design, build and operate concession and completed ahead of schedule.

Noosa Council gazetted a Strategic Plan to guide development over the next seven to 10 years. According to this plan a resident population upper limit of 56,600 (more recently revised to 61,100) was envisaged.


The eroded foreshores of Noosa Spit were replenished by dredging sand from the Noosa Inlet. The operation was interrupted by the occurrence of Cyclone Yali.


Premier Peter Beattie opened the $3.6million Noosa Aquatic Centre at Girraween Court, Sunshine Beach.

A new Hospital opened at Noosaville.

Garden sprinkling restrictions were lifted as a consequence of the introduction of water meters in 1996 and subsequent assessments of consumption patterns.

The council purchased the 500 environmentally prized hectares on the Noosa North Shore for $3 million. The previous owner, Leisuremark, had wanted to build 3400 units, a jet airport, a bridge to Noosa Heads, a golf course and a lake system. The acquisition of the land by the council followed 10 years of legal battle over these development schemes.


The Regional Skate Park adjacent to the Noosa Aquatic Centre at Girraween was officially opened.

The Shire water treatment plant at Lake Macdonald was upgraded and augmented.

The council relocated its Noosaville Works Depot further up Eumundi Rd to the former Energex depot on July 31.

Badly eroded sections of Noosa's Main Beach were restored using sand dredged from the river mouth.

A free Holiday Bus service over the Christmas/New Year holiday period was introduced in order to reduce traffic congestion.


The Wallace House reopened after restoration. The historic landmark had suffered substantial fire damage in 1999.

The council launched its new Cabomba harvester to combat aquatic weed infestation which had occurred in its Lake Macdonald water storage area.

The historic Parkyn's Hut opened as the Tewantin Heritage and Tourist Information Centre. It is located adjacent to the Royal Mail Hotel.

The first stage of the Eenie Creek arterial road was completed (Eumundi Rd to Reef St).

The development company Ariadne withdrew from plans to develop the 51 hectare Shire Business Centre, at Eenie Creek, Noosaville. Brisbane firm W.A. Stockwell Pty Ltd took on the project.

The upgrade of the Noosaville Foreshore commenced. The cost of the award-winning project amounted to $2.2million.

On the recommendation of the community-based Tourism Collaborative Board, the council introduced a rate-based tourism levy. As well as that the council established the Tourism Community Sector Board, the Arts & Heritage Board, the Economic Board, the Environmental Board and the Social Board to help guide strategic and long-term planning.

The staged development of the Noosa Trail Network in the Kin Kin, Cooran and Lake Macdonald areas commenced.


The decommissioned Boral lower mill site at Cooroy was handed over to the council for community purposes such as fine furniture design.

The staged construction of 250 new car parking spaces in Noosa Junction commenced. For this purpose Cooyar St was realigned towards the National Park. The project was completed in 2003.

As a consequence of long months of drought, water restrictions were introduced as a short-term measure.


To counteract erosion on Noosa's Main Beach the council opted for a scheme to recycle sand from the western end of the Main Beach (on the ocean side of the river mouth groyne) to the Park Rd end of Main Beach conveying it via a pipeline which is mostly concealed. The alternative option in consideration had been to construct an artificial reef. After years of research this option was discarded. Trials with a submerged sand pump commenced in December. In January the results were considered successful and the test run was extended to July 2006 while plans were developed for a permanent installation.

W.A. Stockwell Pty Ltd was issued with a development permit to construct the proposed Shire Business Centre (SBC) at Eenie Creek Rd, Noosaville, which today is named Noosa Civic. The permit was based on the condition that the centre would not open until the end of January 2006. This condition was aimed at co-ordinating the opening of the centre with the scheduled completion of the new arterial road Walter Hay Drive (Emu Mountain Rd to Eenie Creek Rd). This road building was publicly financed. As provided in the shire's agreement the State Government was to meet interest charges from July 2006 on construction cost and in due course to fully fund the project.


The northern section of the Walter Hay Drive was completed.

In response to resident demand, the State Government transferred the South Peregian Beach area from Maroochy into Noosa Shire at the March elections.

The sewerage scheme of the shire's coastal section was completed. The multi-million dollar project had been executed according to a five-year programme.

Stage two of the construction of Eenie Creek Rd (Reef St to Langura St) began. This stage included a 515 metre bridge across Weyba Creek.

A petition against the government's intention to amalgamate the shires of Noosa, Maroochy and Caloundra attracted 18,747 signatures (most of them in just one day at Federal election booths) and was presented to State Parliament.

The shire's Living Smart Building Awards (aka the Glossies) were launched. They are intended to raise awareness amongst designers, builders and owners about environmentally friendly construction and use of buildings.

The smelly algae Hincksia sordida infested Noosa's Main Beach for much longer than usual, creating a nuisance from October until the end of the year. It is non-toxic and occurs naturally with the prevailing north wind.


Healthy Waterways were commissioned to undertake an urgent study to determine the origin and behaviour of the algal blooms, to determine whether or not accumulations can be managed and alleviated on a local or regional scale. Expressions of interest were sought for mitigation measures such as an off-shore diversion net, a drag net and an algae collection and removal system.

The Noosa River Plan was endorsed by State Cabinet after a decision making process which took years. The initiatives in the plan are intended to contribute to our A rated waterway in a sustainable way. They are to be implemented in stages.

As part of the SHINE (Safe Homes in Noosa Everyday) project, the Christian Outreach Church, Zonta, community and council joined forces to build three dwelling units to provide temporary shelter for victims of domestic violence. The construction was accomplished over three weekends.

The construction of the southern section of the Walter Hay Drive began.

The Noosa Community Environment Trust was launched in order to encourage benefactors to make tax-free donations towards local environmental projects or to contribute property holdings to the Shire's environmental land bank.


The Noosa Shire ceased to exist as it was merged with Maroochy Shire and the City of Caloundra to form the Sunshine Coast Regional Shire.


In March, residents of the former Noosa Shire went to the polls to vote on a referendum whether or not Noosa should de-amalgamate from the Sunshine Coast. 82.6% of voters were in favour of de-amalgamation.


On January 1, Noosa Shire was officially re-established as an independent local government area.


July marked a milestone in a community's long battle against Weyba on Noosa, the large-scale lakeside development after lawyers on behalf of Northbrook Corporation Pty Ltd, advised they had instructed their client to offer to discontinue the appeal against refusals by both Noosa and Sunshine Coast councils.


First election after de-amalgamation, Tony Wellington was elected mayor.


In December, former Noosa councillor Sandy Bolton won the seat in the state election by a landslide after preferences were allocated, beating the LNP's Glen Elmes by 6962 votes or 61.53 per cent of the two party-preferred vote.


The multi-million dollar Park Road Boardwalk upgrade began in April. Architects worked with council for three years on the design which had to have no impact on the environment or natural landscapes. The project was fished in October, two months ahead of schedule and under budget.