Planning process
  • Last updated:
  • 15 Sep 2021

The Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme 2014 sets down council’s approach to growth management. It sets a clear strategic plan for the future character and form of the Sunshine Coast. It also aligns with the Queensland Government’s South East Queensland Regional Plan (ShapingSEQ). This document provides a framework to manage growth, land use and achieve a sustainable pattern of development. The plan focuses more growth in existing urban areas.

ShapingSEQ directs that 62 per cent of all new residences are to be provided in existing urban areas.  This includes the coastal corridor between Maroochydore and Caloundra. The aim of this policy is to progressively slow the rate of development spread. This allows for the continued protection of important greenspaces, rural landscapes and inter-urban breaks. If we support sustainable growth in this corridor, we can offer a relaxed coastal lifestyle within walking distance of our iconic beaches.

The business case process

Council is following the three-step process for the Queensland Government’s Business Case Development Framework.

Steps 1 and 2 identify the problem, investigate the strategic need and analyse a range of possible solutions.  These two steps are being led by council.  If council endorses the Options Analysis, Step 3 will be led by the Queensland Government.


Step 1: Preparation of a Strategic Business Case – endorsed by council in late July 2019

A Strategic Business Case tested the various elements of this future transport system. It concluded that local mass transit between Maroochydore City Centre and Sunshine Coast University Hospital is the highest priority. This area experiences significant traffic congestion and has the greatest concentration of activities that would benefit from public transport.

Step 2: Preparation of an options analysis – expected by mid-2021

Council is currently producing an Options Analysis, which considers several options. Between 28 April 2021 and 22 June 2021, council will undertake comprehensive community and stakeholder engagement on the options for mass transit. This input will inform the final options analysis before it is considered by council.

This engagement process will also seek inputs to the local land use planning opportunities. This will be essential in understanding the community’s views for accommodating growth in the coastal corridor.

If endorsed by council, the options analysis will be provided to the Queensland Government.

Step 3: In partnership with the Queensland Government, the preparation of a detailed business case – expected by 2021/22

The Detailed Business Case will narrow the options down to a preferred project design. The community will be invited to provide feedback on the preferred option.

Council will work in partnership with the Queensland Government to produce the Detailed Business Case. When complete, it will be provided to the state and commonwealth governments for funding consideration.

The Queensland Government has committed $7.5 million to Step 3.

The planning journey for mass transit

Council has been on the planning journey for mass transit since 2011. The documents listed below are relevant to this journey. Community consultation has been a feature of the preparation of most of these documents.

The Planning Journey for Mass Transit