It is evident that there are currently two modes of development in our region.
The first model is classic Noosa where lots of wealthy people choose to come and retire.
The town plan has population limits on development so the density of the built environment remains largely the same and land prices go ever higher.
There is nothing wrong with a stable population, but you evidently have to pay for it.
The majority of people coming to live on the Sunshine Coast are aged 55+ and already >20% of Noosa is 65+. Hence the parochial saying, ‘it’s a great place to come and die’.
Except for retail and tourism, the high real estate costs make it difficult for some industries to start in the area, so this effectively limits employment opportunities.
Together with the high costs of living, this financially crowds out many younger people.
Therefore, it is also said that ‘if you work in Noosa you can’t afford to live in Noosa’.
The tourist industry also competes for space and pushes up the cost of living. 80% of Noosa tourism is day trippers but 80% of tourism dollars are from out-of-towners on longer stays, so it actually makes sense to limit access.
This model is based not on growth but on quality, and in the end maybe the unique natural beauty of Noosa will be saved by these factors of exclusivity.
My next article considers development of the wider Sunshine Coast.
Adrian Just runs Archicology Architects at Yaroomba and is current Chair of the Sunshine Coast region for the Australian Institute of Architects.