New CIRS office volunteer Vicki-Lynne Eadie
Welcome to our new office volunteers Vicki, Debbie and Linda. They will join our office regulars Penny, Pam, Elaine, Fiona, Rita, Ze, and Denise, as well as our ever-increasing band of nomadic and sporadic volunteers who do what they can, whenever they can.
We are always looking for volunteers to help maintain the hall, run the monthly markets, sell books, and help with events and activities.
We have some events coming up that will require volunteers to serve food and/or sell alcohol so if you have a few hours to spare and would like to contribute to the Rainbow Beach community, give us a call on 5486 3355, drop into the CIRS office next to the library Mon-Fri 8.30am-4pm, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Future of the Centre Block
At our most recent general meeting, CIRS members moved that a letter be sent to Gympie Regional Council in relation to proposed future uses of Lot 1, 32 Rainbow Beach Road. This is the parcel of empty land on the corner of Rainbow Beach Road and Clarkson Drive, opposite the camping store.
Below is the letter sent to Planning Scheme Coordinator Simon Kinchington and our Division 1 representative Cr. Jess Milne on 14 March.
‘As Secretary, I am writing to you on behalf of the members of Community Information & Resource Service Association Incorporated (CIRS). CIRS was established in 2000 to provide information and access to government support services to residents of Rainbow Beach. We currently have 110 members and are located in the offices of the Rainbow Beach Community Centre and hall, a Council-owned facility on Lots 2 and 3, 32 Rainbow Beach Road.
Our volunteer staff handle bookings and maintenance of the hall and offices located within the facility under a Management Agreement with Council. We also have Council permission to use the public space on Lot 2 for monthly markets, which we renew every year with our public liability insurance cover.
At our most recent general meeting on 15 February, a motion was passed that I write to you on behalf of the CIRS membership to seek clarification on the Council’s future intentions and current zoning of Lot 1, 32 Rainbow Beach Road. Lots 1,2, and 3 form a land parcel locally referred to as “The Centre Block” and it has been the focus of community concern since 1992. In response to residents’ opposition to a commercial development application back then, the Council acquired the entire “Centre Block” and zoned it for Community Purposes. It is obviously of great concern to our members and Rainbow Beach residents generally then to learn that it has since been rezoned Local Centre in a subsequent Planning Scheme.
Our concerns are firstly that we were not consulted on this change by Council planning staff at the time. Whatever happens on Lot 1 may impact our management of the hall and our events held on Lot 2. As managers of the neighbouring parcels, we should be considered stakeholders and kept informed of any Development Applications, Changes to Material Use or rezoning of any part of the Centre Block.
Secondly, we need this centrally-located green space to remain available for activities associated with our function as the designated evacuation centre for the Cooloola Coast. In the event of a natural disaster, this flat empty space will be utilized for accommodation overflow (evacuated campers and caravans), pet management, food and medicine drops, and other purposes as required.
Thirdly, this space has been used for community events such as rodeos, car shows, touch football matches, fetes and outdoor musical events. It is the last public open green space available in the heart of town. Once it is gone there will be no similar site to replace it.
Finally, CIRS members strongly insist that if any development of Lot 1 is proposed, it should be for a publicly-owned community asset accessible to all residents, not for private residences, tourist accommodation or commercial enterprise.
CIRS members want to know what precipitated the rezoning and what, if any, development proposals have been presented to Council for consideration. We also want to know if Council have planned any community consultations on this or any other planning matters relating to Rainbow Beach. We understand that there have been many changes within Council so we are offering to provide some valuable local insights to the Planning team, to contextualize the views or advice that you may have been provided with.
We therefore invite you to meet with CIRS members, and any residents who wish to attend, in the Rainbow Beach Community Hall at a time convenient to you. Please contact me on 0423 344 316 or reply email to email@example.com to arrange a suitable date and time.
We await your considered response to the matters raised.’