Appreciating our open spaces on the Sunshine Coast
  • Friday 23 February 2018

Do you love the Sunshine Coast’s many diverse green spaces and wonder how we can keep up with the changing environment and growing population?

Sunshine Coast Council recognises our open space network is highly valued by the community and contributes to the Sunshine Coast’s unique character, relaxed and healthy lifestyle and rich biodiversity.

Planning Portfolio Councillor Christian Dickson said this was why a key priority of council’s Environment and Liveability Strategy is to maintain the rate of 5ha per 1000 residents and ensure an equitable distribution of publicly accessible open space by 2041.

“The Sunshine Coast has long been known for its outstanding natural assets, landscapes and lifestyles. Now it is also one of Queensland’s fastest growing regions and one of the 10 most significant urban areas in Australia,” Cr Dickson said.

“While our region continues to grow, it will be exposed to changes that will present both opportunities and challenges for our future.

“As a result, council recently launched the Environment and Liveability Strategy to maintain the liveability of our region and build on its already outstanding environmental credentials over the next 25 years.”

Cr Dickson said while the Sunshine Coast’s natural green environment was regularly talked about, our open spaces, such as parks and sports grounds, were often taken for granted. However, they are integral to our daily lives.

“We want to encourage the community to appreciate and enjoy the region’s diverse open space network and take advantage of the active healthy lifestyle it enables,” he said.

“Open space is the network of land and water that supports recreation and sport, trails and paths, nature conservation and visual relief from the urban environment. These open spaces complement and contrast with the built environment.

“It provides spaces for enhancing landscape and character values, supporting biodiversity and ecological services, and active and passive sport, recreation and cultural activities.

“It provides the ‘green frame’ of our urban areas, edging our rivers, beaches and foreshores lining our streets and identifying our communities.

“It also makes the Sunshine Coast an attractive place to visit and supports tourism, events and economic growth.”

As well as the overall open space target to maintain the 5ha to 1000 people ratio, the Environment and Liveability Strategy is also seeking to:

  • secure and protect the Regional Inter-urban Break and Sub-regional Inter-urban Breaks;
  • continue to deliver healthy waterways and beaches that support our lifestyle and livelihoods;
  • secure and activate space for future generations through an accelerated strategic land program to improve conservation, flood mitigation and sport and recreation opportunities.

Fast facts – current stats

  • 8800ha of open space managed by council
  • 1000ha for recreation use
  • 334 playgrounds
  • 6000ha for environmental and coastal purposes
  • 1200ha for specific purpose sports
  • 1800ha of sports grounds
  • 81,900ha of open space
  • More than 460 recreation parks
  • 40% of visitors use parks frequently.

For further information about council’s Environment and Liveability Strategy, visit council’s website.