Cr McKay - Hinterland happenings
  • Friday 26 August 2016

I am absolutely thrilled and honoured to have been invited to contribute to the first of this fabulous new Hinterland feature and look forward to keeping in touch with regular columns in future editions.  

To start off, a big thumbs up needs to go to the Sunshine Coast Daily for recognising the importance of their wonderful, diverse hinterland audience through including this special Friday feature especially for the locals and everyone interested in visiting this beautiful part of the Coast.

As Division 5 councillor, I represent the interests of residents from Maleny in the south to Tanawha in the east, Conondale in the west and Flaxton in the north. I am also responsible for the Community and the Environment Portfolios, both very important and relevant considerations for our hinterland.

Key hinterland events

There is always plenty to see and do throughout the many different areas that make up the Sunshine Coast hinterland, however if pressed, my top two coming up would have to be the Ignition Awards for Ceramic Excellence exhibition and the Sunshine Coast Environment Photography Awards exhibition.

To make it nice and easy, you will have the chance to catch both of these at the same time and place, at Maroochy Regional Bushland Botanic Garden on September 4, at the Spring Vibes in the Garden event, forming part of the first Horizon Sunshine Coast festival of arts and culture.

What better way to celebrate Father’s Day than enjoying a free family day of entertainment, including viewing the 25 finalist entries from the Environment Photography Awards in a unique outdoor exhibition and the Sunshine Coast Clayworkers ceramic Ignition exhibition onsite in the Art and Ecology Centre building.

For further information about these exhibitions and Spring Vibes in the Garden event, visit

Our future greenies take action

I’m looking forward to meeting with more than 350 school children from all over our region next Thursday and Friday, September 1 and 2, where they will challenge the way we think about sustainability in our day-to-day lives when they take part in the 2016 Kids in Action Conference.

It’s no wonder the 2015 program was a finalist in the UN Association of Australia World Environment Day Awards earlier this year. This conference effectively inspires and fosters our future environmental leaders and is aligned with council’s vision to achieve long-term cultural change in the way we look after and interact with our environment.

The program is a collaborative partnership between the Sunshine Coast Council, Unitywater, Kids Teaching Kids, Qantas, local schools and environment groups to inspire the region’s future environmental leaders.

Key learnings ahead

Next week I will be heading to Victoria for a few days as part of a study tour to learn about community, sporting and developments activities in Melbourne and surrounding areas as relevant to the Sunshine Coast region, particularly the hinterland.

As well as visiting and learning about various libraries and heritage sites, sporting venues, major streetscape redevelopments and significant project master plans, I will be meeting with representatives from the City of Melbourne regarding the Queen Victoria Markets Precinct Renewal Project. I’m also pleased to advise key representatives from this project will be coming on board with the next stages of the Palmwoods Place Making process.

I’m excited about all of the learnings ahead and can’t wait to return with many new ideas to put into action soon.

Until next time!