Michelle Gilmore enjoying the lookout views Image Fiona Worthington
I was asked the other day what THE most important thing is for our township and coast to bring more people to our beautiful region, again and again. There is plenty on the list: I would love a wetlands boardwalk and track behind Hakea Place towards the industrial area; a foreshore walk from the SLSC tower to the Shores; a bike track to Carlo Point; weekly trivia nights; more land opening up; COVID eradication (or at least lockdowns and border closures to disappear), and world peace. Here are THREE things that are ‘low hanging fruit’ we and our council can grasp and action right now!
Become RV Friendly Towns
I have put it to Council again, when will the 2019 Draft Regional RV strategy be approved and put into practice? Here’s what we were told:
“The draft RV Strategy was presented to and discussed with Council earlier this year. Work is ongoing. The RV Strategy will be ready for review by Council by October 2021.
“The first stage of works will commence later this year. The works will focus on delivering consistency across all the region’s RV parks with improved basic infrastructure such as signage, rubbish bin facilities and dog bag dispensers.”
I also asked about the Gympie Showgrounds. Council advised the funding allocated to Tozer Street (The Rattler) for an RV site was not transferable to the Showgrounds. At this stage there is no funding for an RV site at the showgrounds, however Council is looking at all options.
If Council was looking at all options, they would realise that a huge number of RV travellers don’t require facilities. It doesn’t have to cost Council anything! You can even find volunteers who would love to act as caretaker if needed. Systems could be set up so fees go directly to Council.
If consistency is important to Council re RV parks – then make sure our coastal towns are also included in provision of budget or freedom camping areas. There are great options for camping areas, close to town centres, that would increase visitation across all businesses.
It has been proven again and again – these travellers spend money, and they avoid towns that don’t provide a lower cost option for overnight stays.
Here’s what we need to qualify as a registered RV Friendly Town:
|Appropriate parking within the town centre, with access to shopping area/groceries (we just need signage!)
|Short-term, low-cost overnight parking (24/48 hours) for self-contained RVs, close to the CBD
|Free dump point
The only thing we would need to supply on the coast is overnight parking areas! Any community group behind this would not need to fundraise again! Win win.
More housing available for families and workers
Let’s roll out some of Noosa’s initiatives now. The increase in Short Term Rental Accommodation is pushing families out of our towns, our schools and workplaces.
People have also been complaining to the Community News that their once quiet street is now filled with “party houses” – a resident’s nightmare.
Accountability is a priority. Here are some of the strategies we’ve discussed at length in the May Community News. Please Council, let’s have some action:
- Applications and annual reviews
- Local contact person to manage
- Fire and safety standards
- Guest code of conduct
- Development incentives
- No holiday letting in residential zones
Bring back the views
Not everyone is blessed with views of our beautiful coast from their balcony. I firmly believe that a look out should be just that. A place to see the views. For the majority of the year, our lookout near the propeller does not deliver on what its name promises.
Gympie Regional Council has advised that Cotton Tree works will commence on Monday August 2 on the headland.
The question is, will the cotton tree be trimmed at chest or head height like the last few times they get a cherry picker here OR will it actually make a difference for more that a week or so – a prune to knee height?
As you can see, the Cotton Tree keeps coming back regardless. Trim it right, and the expensive cherry picker is not needed as much.
Perhaps we’d be able to see the view from the plinth and coastline map (near the rainbow steps)? Or the boardriders memorial could have a view again? The viewing platform needs attention also.
It is great that Council is working on beautifying the town and maintaining gardens – but please get that Cotton Tree back under control!