Future of the Cooloola Coast is at stake: letter
AS PRESIDENT of the Cooloola Cove Residents and Friends Inc, I submit that the statements below are my personal thoughts only on the subjects included.
The Cooloola Coast is a region of great beauty and natural splendour. It contains three coastal towns which are themselves different, but at the same time complementary to each other.
Rainbow Beach has a vibrant tourist industry, Tin Can Bay has tourist attractions as well as marine related activities and industries, with Cooloola Cove being a principal residential area with some local industry and unique flora and fauna.
The Coast is a remote area, as yet unspoilt, but with the greatest potential for its future yet to be realised. The Coast is unique in south-east Queensland; it has unique needs like all coastal areas, but also the greatest opportunity to strive to determine its own future.
The three communities need to work together to realise this potential, at all levels, i.e. residents, community groups, and businesses. A collaborative approach will ensure strength and commitment to our future. The future for the Coast is about creating/maintaining a great lifestyle, a great experience for visitors, and a proud quality of life for our elderly and younger families.
It is important that the pressures of external forces of progress are resisted, and a Cooloola Coast community-developed, long term strategic plan is established, particularly for the young families of the area.
I repeat, the Coast is a unique location, it has unique potentials, and the timing is now critical for its future.
Pressures brought on by out-of-area interests cannot ensure that the residents/businesses of the Coast get a fair go and are given the respect and opportunity to ensure long term future goals are achieved. We have already seen the potential power these external forces can have, and the contempt given to the coastal community.
The principal stakeholders (local and state government) in this recent proposed change to the electoral boundaries, have not stepped up to alleviate community fears or provide assurance that the Coast will retain its identity, or not be disadvantaged as a result of these changes.
I put forward that a coastal public meeting be held where the above principal stakeholders present their cases/support or otherwise, for these proposals.
I also suggest the community groups within the Coast, including business representatives, have a meeting to determine where the common ground is and initiate the development of a long term strategic plan for the Cooloola Coast.
The long term future of the Coast needs to be in conversations now before the opportunity is lost.
There are so many concerns and issues that the Coast will need to consider, the timing is right, some conversations are being had, let's make it so.