Noosa could be first to have convention centre
DESPITE nearly three decades of lobbying and more than $1 million spent on feasibility studies, the Sunshine Coast may lose the race to getting an arts and convention centre to Noosa.
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland Noosa has unveiled plans for a 1000-seat centre with the aim of growing the revenue of Noosa's 4500 businesses by 10%.
Chamber president Sarah Fisher said while the centre was still in the early stages of planning, she hoped it could be built in the next five years.
The convention centre has the support of local businesses and Tourism Noosa.
The news comes as a bitter blow to those who have been lobbying for an arts and convention centre on the Sunshine Coast for decades.
What would you like to see include in any Sunshine Coast Arts and Convention Centre?
This poll ended on 29 June 2015.
The ability for us to host top quality theatre and stage shows
The space to hold exhibitions and conventions
We just need a mix of both stage and floor space
As long as there's parking, I'm happy
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
Former Maroochy mayor Alison Barry-Jones (formerly Grosse) blamed the existing Sunshine Coast Council for the lengthy delay.
"I hope Noosa can pull it off," a frustrated Ms Barry-Jones said. "From day one, this project has not been on this Sunshine Coast Council's agenda.
"We've had three or four feasibility studies done on it all saying it should have been done in 1995."
The latest study was commissioned in August 2009.
Completed in January 2012, it found the centre was not only viable but would also act as an economic stimulus for the Sunshine Coast.
The council CEO was expected to have prepared a funding and delivery strategy for the project "prior to March 31, 2013".
It is unclear where this proposal is up to.
Ms Barry-Jones said the Sunshine Coast was bigger than Hobart but didn't have a meeting place.
"It is an absolute and utter disgrace,'' she said.
"I don't mind having it in Noosa. I hope they bloody well do it as this council has had every chance."
Ms Fisher said Noosa's feasibility study was being done by volunteers who shared the vision for the project.
"We hope to have the study completed in four months."
Above The J in Noosa Junction has been earmarked as the "perfect spot".
Ms Fisher said there was room for two centres in the region, but Noosa was the "better destination".
"Who wouldn't want to come to Noosa for an art show?" she said.
Sunshine Coast Council did not respond to the Daily's questions about an arts centre by deadline.
Noosa Council also did not comment on the proposed centre.