Independent chair appointed to lead Maroochy River Estuary Consultation Group
  • Monday 07 August 2017
Cotton Tree

Sunshine Coast residents will soon have their chance to share their views on the proposed options for the renewal of the groyne field at the mouth of the Maroochy River.

Feedback from local surf clubs, environmental groups and Indigenous community representatives along with State Government agencies, the Maroochydore Chamber of Commerce, the University of the Sunshine Coast and Surf Life Saving Queensland will be provided through the establishment of the Maroochy River Estuary Consultation Group (MRECG).

Mayor Mark Jamieson announced that the committee would be independently chaired by Professor John Martin, Emeritus Professor at La Trobe University.

“Professor Martin comes to the role with considerable knowledge of the local environment and has a degree in ecology and natural resource management and sociology and a PhD in public policy,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“Professor Martin has extensive experience working with local governments across Australia, including the former Caloundra and Maroochy councils, and has worked with all levels of government on major projects for more than 40 years.

“His experience also includes working as a Director of La Trobe University’s Centre for Sustainable Regional Communities, so he has a keen appreciation of the need to balance the environmental, economic, cultural and social values associated with the Maroochy River entrance.”

Mayor Jamieson said Professor Martin’s experience made him an ideal candidate to head up the consultation group.

Professor Martin’s first task is as part of a three-member panel to assess the expressions of interest for a number of positions on the consultation group.

This process is expected to be completed in a matter of weeks.

Professor Martin said he looked forward to taking on the role and assisting council to shape its policy response to an important coastal management issue.

“This is an issue that countries all over the world are grappling with, and the policy decisions that come out of this process will shape the future of the Sunshine Coast,” Professor Martin said.

“Council has some important decisions to make, and what they have realised is the importance of ensuring everyone has a voice.”

Members of the community who are seeking further information on the proposed options for the groyne field of the Maroochy River and are keen to share their views, are also invited to attend community information sessions which will be held throughout August at five different locations across the region.

“Our council wants to ensure the community has access to all the key information including project costs and the range of social, environmental, cultural and economic factors associated with the options under consideration,” Mayor Jamieson said. 

“I know a lot of people are very passionate about this issue which is why it is important that we present clear, accurate, evidenced-based information to the community and offer every opportunity for residents across the region to be involved and share their views.”

Full details about the community consultation process and the MRECG are available on council’s website.

Advice from the MRECG, along with direct community feedback on the Maroochy River mouth groyne field, will be presented to council in a report in December 2017. 

Community information sessions will be held at the following locations:

August 15 – Coolum Surf Club – 6pm to 8pm

August 17 – Caloundra Power Boat Club – 6pm to 8pm

August 22 – Maroochy Surf Club – 6pm to 8pm

August 24 – Maleny RSL – 6pm to 8pm

August 29 – Nambour RSL – 6pm to 8pm