Rainbow Beach has copped negative publicity in the last month after the Rainbow Shores Stage II announcement. In response, over 60 residents, Gympie MP David Gibson, Mayor Ron Dyne and other councillors met to discuss the future of Rainbow and renew the Master Planning process.
Business owners, residents and attendees at the meeting tell the Community News their thoughts on the future for Rainbow Beach, of particular interest are Council’s plans for development.
Gympie MP, David Gibson says, “The recent decision on Rainbow Shores provides us with the ideal opportunity to look at what we want Rainbow Beach and the surrounding area to become and critical to any master plan’s success is input from the public.” Mr Gibson said.
“I think from the success of the meeting last night we can show government that there is strong community support for a master plan for Rainbow Beach and it is definitely ‘Open for Business’.”
“The aim of last night’s meeting was to gather information regarding the needs and wants of the Rainbow Beach community, business owners, community organisations and it’s local leaders.”
“To ensure that everyone was given the opportunity to be heard we undertook a SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats) analysis of Rainbow Beach and then worked in groups to identify the key priorities for the town.”
“Whilst each of us has our own vision of what Rainbow Beach should be like it was clear from everyone’s responses that there were strong common themes to what the region should build upon.”
Mayor Ron Dyne, Gympie Regional Council said that the “Meeting went very well, positive discussion and overall consensus that the Master Plan needs to be resurrected and actioned as soon as we can.”
“The previous Master Plan supported land sales to be opened up on the western side of Rainbow Beach. Council also believes the old mill site should be opened up in the future and would be the connector between Rainbow Shores and town. This would increase the critical mass of residents at Rainbow Beach so businesses were not completely reliant on tourist traffic for sustainability.”
“Another area is opposite the Rainbow Shores Golf Course – there have been previous discussions about a community golf course.”The Mayor explained “How we disperse effluent is also an issue – and this would give more of an area to distribute effluent. Council needs a transfer station and a council depot. The unallocated state land (USL) needs to be released for residential development and council infrastructure and water systems, where tenure is secured.”
Mr Dyne continued, “The whole of the Cooloola Coast is the jewel in the tourism for Gympie Regional Council and we need to see opportunities for development to shore up businesses in the area. We need a good discussion on Bullock Point Boat Ramp refurbishment and upgrade with an additional carpark. It is well supported that camping at Inskip Point could be further enhanced as it is a big attractor to Rainbow Beach.”
Sandy Brosnan from The Top Shops tells us “I was very pleased with Mr Gibson’s effort, to make plans to include us in the future plans for Queensland and the master planning for our area so that business and tourism can achieve a viable outlook and stability for the future. I’ve always had high hopes for the future of Rainbow Beach. I didn’t spend all that money on a shopping centre and invested in my retirement if I didn’t have that same view today”.
Foodworks’ Ruth Modin declares, “What a positive, healing and inspirational public meeting David Gibson chaired on Wednesday June 19th at the Rainbow Beach Sports & Rec Club. Seeing competitive business houses express their views and interact with each other was a first. I am sure all the suggestions made by the retired citizens were also taken on board. It was great to attend a very decisive meeting and hopefully we will all work toward a common goal. But I make the point also, “Ask not what the community can do for you” Rather “What Can I Do For My Community?” Reg Lawler and I didn’t hold hands but we did rub shoulders! P.S. The beach rake is on its way – probably half way to our shores.”
Fiona Worthington from Rainbow Sea Resort says it was the “Best meeting I have attended in a long time. Well facilitated by MP David Gibson which allowed great community discussion and plans to work towards a positive future for Rainbow Beach. It shows we do have the ability as a Community to put our individual differences aside and work towards a positive vision for this unique town.” Fiona is “Very much looking forward to contributing further on working committees to build a great future for Rainbow Beach and all of its stakeholders.”
Andrew McCarthy is glad they have launched Rainbow Beach Horserides this year. He says, “Our numbers are increasing every week. We had another successful marriage proposal on Wednesday. That is our third. Everything looks very promising for the future. We already have bookings for every month this year. A number of customers have asked us for recommendations on where to stay in Rainbow, which suggests Rainbow is continuing to grow as a destination and showing no signs of abating.”
Debbie Donovan, Lions Club and Community Centre volunteer, told us that the first Rainbow beach Monthly Market has “gone off”. The car park was full – it was totally booked out. They already have 17 permanent bookings with, heaps of interest in the twilight market/Carols by Candlelight planned for December 14, 3-7 pm. There is also plenty of interest in the Kite Festival on August 17 – over 2km of kites – some 30 foot by 10 foot. The event was planned for our quieter winter season and encourage more visitors to the area during the off peak time.
Mr Gibson says, “The next step will be the development of some local working groups to tease out some of the ideas put forward before I formally write to the Deputy Premier to highlight the strong desire by the community to restart the Master planning process for Rainbow Beach and to incorporate the community feedback received.”
Anyone interested in getting updates on the working groups ideas and the master planning process can register their email address with Mr Gibson’s office at Gympie@parliament.qld.gov.au.