- Saturday 20 August 2011
Local communities involved in consultation for Cooroy project
Council is committed to open and transparent communication and consultation and has carried a significant body of consultation on the Cooroy Link Road project with the local community over a number of years.
The Cooroy project is a six-year consultation and information program that was undertaken to understand and then address the concerns of a range of community stakeholders impacted by the Jarrah Street extension. The extension, once completed, will both cater for a growing industrial and residential area, while also helping ensure the safety of motorists and pedestrians in Cooroy’s busy CBD by diverting commercial vehicles.
Division 12 Councillor Lew Brennan said the end result would ensure an improved pedestrian-friendly town centre.
“While we cannot make everybody happy, council is well aware that if it does not go ahead with this project, the traffic hazards occurring within the Cooroy CBD will only intensify,” Cr Brennan said.
“I understand that some residents have real concerns about the project itself – as with any major change somebody will be impacted. However, to say that council has not consulted adequately is incorrect.
“This is a great project. Consultation started in 2005, it was approved by the former Noosa Council in 2008, and is a project that the community has been waiting for, for many years. It would be a shame for it to be overshadowed by a lack of understanding about the consultation process
“This project has been on council’s Capital Works program since amalgamation, and I was pleased when council endorsed the funding for this project during this year’s budget deliberations.
“Council is committed to strong community engagement and regularly undertakes a wide variety of community engagement activities on many of its projects. Council strongly encourages residents to take every opportunity to get involved in these opportunities and to ensure that they have their say on issues affecting their community.”
A report to council’s Ordinary Meeting next week will address a petition received from residents objecting to the project.
Consultation history to date:
August 2011 Council ‘Project News’ newsletter, advising residents west of the railway about project commencement.
April 2011 Individual meeting with affected resident on Garnett Street
December 2010 Individual meetings held with affected residents on Garnett Street and individual business owners.
During 2010 Liaison with community groups such as the Cooroy Chamber of Commerce, Cooroy Community Transport (including reps from the Cooroy Primary School).
March-May 2010 Discussions held with Noosa Junior Rugby Club on project timing so as not to interfere with playing season as roadwork to impact on car parking.
November 2007 Public meeting held (advertised in the Cooroy Rag and invites sent to sporting clubs)
2007 (various) Discussions with sporting clubs:
- Cooroora United Football Club (376 members)
- Combined Coastal Car Club (60 members)
- Cooroy Horse and Pony Club (100 members)
- Cooroy Gymnastics Club (160 gymnasts)
- Noosa District Junior Rugby League Club (260 registered players)
- Cooroy – Eumundi Cricket Club (89 players)
June 2006 Newsletter to residents requesting input into feasibility study by Cardno Eppell Olsen
October 2005 Input received from Community Consultative Group (Cooroy Transport Plan)
October 2005 Request for comments published in Cooroy Rag
The Cooroy town centre and the safety of pedestrians and other users is suffering due to the significant intrusion of commercial vehicles. The location of the mixed industrial land uses (light manufacturing and service area) to the west of the town centre has added to the traffic movements. Combine this with the large number of car movements in and out of the on street parking and the expansion of the industrial area at the end of Jarrah St, and the hazards are compounded.
To address the matter Noosa Council commissioned a Transport Plan to be developed in 2005. The aim of the plan was to make improvements which would facilitate the vision for a pedestrian-friendly town centre. The plan was to also address the need for pedestrian-vehicle shared zones as part of the development of the Cooroy Lower Mill site.
After examining a number of options Noosa Council resolved, in 2008, to support the development of the Jarrah Street extension option.
When the former councils amalgamated, the approved Noosa capital works program became part of the Sunshine Coast Council capital works program.
Each year, at budget time the program is reviewed, prioritised and endorsed by council. This approach allows individual councillors to question individual capital works through the budget development process.
This process has respected, and will continue to respect, the decisions made by the former councils for many projects. These approved works will continue to be rolled out.