Sunshine Coast Regional Council’s proposal to close a popular beachfront holiday park to make way for a foreshore redevelopment has received fierce opposition from regular campers, but the community appears to be in favour of the change.
Part of the Mooloolaba Master Plan, which council says is about transforming the town into a “world class tourist destination”, the Mooloolaba Beach Holiday Park would be closed and it’s 34 sites “relocated” to other local holiday parks.
Council recently put the matter out for it’s second public consultation, and is waiting to hear the community’s views on whether the park should stay or go.
Many locals have voiced their opinion on the change, with interim figures suggesting local ratepayers are in favour of bringing the site back into the public domain.
One of the local criticisms of the park is that it’s hard to get into, with forward bookings offered to park guests before being opened to the general public. As such, locals say it’s impossible to get into the park unless you’re one of the chosen few.
But not everyone is in favour of the proposed change. A petition strongly opposing the park closure has so far received more than 2000 signatures.
Regular campers say the park is an icon in the local community, and that the closure would be a great loss for future generations.
Jamie Franklin, Principal Place Officer for the Sunshine Coast Regional Council, says council is looking to restore access to the site and increase public amenity.
“It’s part of an overall picture to create a great ocean walk along Mooloolaba, and revitalise Mooloolaba overall,” he says.
“Businesses are telling us they’re hurting through the winter months, and this is a way of drawing people into the community during winter months.”
“Currently the caravan park is very hard to get into for visitors, it’s locked down for most of the summer months. At present, you wouldn’t be able to get in there until April. Returning that space back to the public would be a better use of the space.”
The foreshore redevelopment would see the construction of an extensive waterfront walking and cycling network, public gym, ocean pool, and other public spaces.
Council has stressed that this is just a proposal at present, and that councillors will take community feedback into consideration before making a final decision.
“We’re merely seeking feedback on this proposal at this stage. If there’s significant public sway and councillors decide the park stays, it stays.”
Public comment closes September 30.