While the Sunshine Coast south of the Maroochy river battles it out to be the big business end of town, north of the river there appears a different attitude towards development which is based more upon conservation and lifestyle.
Some cruelly say these dormitory suburbs are a great place to come and die, reflecting the high percentage of retirees. Or maybe the area is more in tune with the paradigm shift that there is nothing wrong with no growth.
This could be viewed as being exclusive, or it could be a means of not loving the place to death.
This protectionism is enshrined in the Noosa town plan which includes population density rules as well as site rules, and this has pushed Noosa land prices generally higher than the rest of the coast. The irony of this is that, if you work in Noosa you can’t afford to live in Noosa. So there is apparently more at stake than just conservation of natural areas.
The relevance of all this to the proposed development at Yaroomba is to consider whether the development is ‘local’ to Yaroomba and Coolum residents, or is it local to the Sunshine Coast. Which local notion of development is appropriate for the site?
Considering that many people from the Australian East coast have come here for long stays every year for decades, does this make them locals? Or what if they come regularly for conferences?
This notion of ‘localism through regular attendance’, might quickly be expanded with a new airport and resort.
The real question then, is whether the new stream of regulars are bringing the same ideals and treating the neighbourhood with the same respect as currently exists, or can they be managed to do so?
Adrian Just is a registered architect at Yaroomba. He is Sunshine Coast chairman for the Australian Institute of Architects and is a member of Sunshine Coast Council Heritage Reference Group. His firm Archicology has designed 25 townhouses for Sekisui House.