Noosa's future planning goes on the line Friday.
Noosa's future planning goes on the line Friday.

Crunch time for party houses as ban decision arrives

Noosa councillors will be asked by planning staff on Friday to adopt its new shire plan which proposes a complete ban on party houses among the lifestyle protections.

This was after a ministerial review in February authorised Noosa Council to adopt the first new plan since 2006, subject to a number of conditions.

Also read: Election stalls adoption of new Noosa Plan

Council is just ‘plan’ wrong say business groups

The council’s environment and sustainable development director, Kim Rawlings, said more than $3 million had been spent preparing the guidelines intended to shape Noosa’s future.

Noosa Council's sustainable development director Kim Rawlings.
Noosa Council's sustainable development director Kim Rawlings.

“Importantly, there is no provision to further modify the draft scheme prior to gazettal,” Ms Rawlings said.

“If council decides not to adopt the scheme as approved by the minister the plan preparation process must start again.

“If this was to occur various planning studies on which the draft was based are likely to need to be redone as their currency will diminish with time,” Ms Rawlings said.

According to the final document, key challenges includes the impacts of climate change on the local environment, economy and communities as well as accommodating an increasingly ageing population.

“By 2041, the proportion of residents aged 65 years and over is predicted to rise to around 30 per cent.”

It found there was a need for all forms of housing suitable for retirees and elderly people, including residential care, retirement communities and small dwellings.

It also looked to address the “large populations to the south of Noosa Shire adding to demands on services, facilities, open space and carparking areas during peak times”.

As well, it tackled demands on housing, health, social and transport needs.

The new Noosa Plan aims to protect Noosa's lifestyle.
The new Noosa Plan aims to protect Noosa's lifestyle.

A major goal is to ensure a “diversity in housing choice to provide suitable residential accommodation for low income earners and key workers” plus the “need to keep pace with rapidly evolving transport systems and technology” for locals and visitors alike.

The plan looks to respond to the South East Queensland Regional Plan 2017 which sets a projected employment target of 11,000 new jobs across all sectors in Noosa Shire by 2041.

“Fundamental to Noosa’s shift towards a smart economy is the attraction and retention of skilled people, and the development of collaborative alliances and connections.

“This requires flexible accommodation and work arrangements focused on digital infrastructure and multiuse work spaces of various sizes and price points.

“Noosa’s current economy relies significantly on the tourism, retail, health and construction sectors.

“To ensure longer term sustainable and resilient economic growth it is desirable to broaden the economic structure of the local economy through industry diversification,” the plan said.

Council aims to do this via growth in the ‘smart’ industry sectors including sustainable tourism, healthcare and wellness, environmental industries and the digital economy.

With the Noosa community transitioning to a zero emissions future the new plan promotes

‘infill development’ in existing urban areas over “urban sprawl and encouraging changes in transport to reduce private car use”.