Placemaking Mooloolaba master plan

Council endorsed the placemaking Mooloolaba master plan at its December 2015 Ordinary Meeting.

The purpose of this master plan is to provide a clear, compelling and unique vision for Mooloolaba for short, mid and long-term change over a possible 20 year period. It draws inspiration from the town's identity, character and community values.

The final master plan is available to view:

Where to from here

The placemaking Mooloolaba master plan has been the catalyst to many Mooloolaba infrastructure projects council and the state and federal governments are investing in to create a world-class destination for residents and visitors to enjoy, including:

The Mooloolaba foreshore revitalisation project is a multi-stage upgrade scheduled to take place over several years as funding becomes available.

Stage 1 of the Mooloolaba foreshore revitalisation project is expected to start this year, subject to approvals.

Council has implemented an activation program, with the aim of creating a year-round schedule of events and activity in Mooloolaba.


Three phases of stakeholder and community engagement have been undertaken for the placemaking Mooloolaba project:

  1. Enquiry by design workshop (November 2012)
  2. Placemaking Mooloolaba - phase 1 engagement (1-25 May 2015)
  3. Placemaking Mooloolaba - phase 2 engagement (4-30 September 2015).

Phase 1 engagement

The placemaking Mooloolaba project carried out an extensive community engagement process consulting with key stakeholders and the broader community in May 2015. Feedback received from over 1,000 participants highlighted core community values together with opportunities and challenges for the future growth of the area.

During phase 1 engagement council engaged with a range of stakeholders and the broader community to help define the new vision for Mooloolaba. More than 1,000 residents, business owners and visitors had their say by participating in a variety of engagement activities such as a 'Chalk Visioning Day" event on Mooloolaba Esplanade and completing an online survey.

During this engagement, community consultation aimed to gain an understanding of local values and aspirations for the future by asking questions including: "What do you love about Mooloolaba?", "What would you improve?" and, "What is your vision for the future of Mooloolaba?".

Watch the Mooloolaba placemaking video to find out what the Mooloolaba community had to say.

A number of common themes emerged, including the community holding most value about:

  • the beach and climate
  • Mooloolaba's natural beauty
  • Mooloolaba's associated healthy lifestyle
  • retaining and enhancing access to the beach
  • maintaining a relaxed atmosphere
  • family friendly appeal.

Some of the suggested improvements to Mooloolaba included:

  • 60% responded with the need for increased car parking
  • more exciting parks and entertainment areas
  • revitalised spaces and activity areas on the beachfront
  • better pedestrian access and cycle links
  • improving the arrival experience and traffic congestion during peak periods into Mooloolaba
  • the community also stressed a need to reinvigorate Mooloolaba as a place for locals and to attract more permanent residents.

The initial stage of engagement provided important feedback and direction for the draft master plan. This included the following opportunities and challenges:

  • improvements to road infrastructure, public transport and parking
  • ability to cater to the growing tourism market
  • enhanced open space and community facilities
  • improved pedestrian and cyclist connections
  • infrastructure for festivals, markets and events
  • improved economic resilience to carry businesses through low tourism season
  • more housing accommodation and diversity.

Phase 2 engagement

The community feedback from phase one then assisted the development of a draft master plan for Mooloolaba. The draft master plan was presented to the community during the second phase of engagement in September 2015, which included participation of approximately 1,850 people in providing feedback via survey questions available online and through hard copy feedback forms.

The draft master plan survey consisted of 38 individual questions with yes, yes if..., or no responses to a series of questions designed to gauge support and feedback for the proposed key initiatives. There were 1,086 validated responses received including 183 feedback forms and 903 online surveys.

The key findings to the survey questions were:

  • 82% support for the intent of the draft master plan, voting yes (71%) or yes, I would support it if...(11%)
  • 87% support for draft master plan vision voting yes (80%) or yes, I would support it if...(7%)
  • there was 72% support for the relocation of the Mooloolaba Esplanade (Northern) Caravan Park sites to create increased public open space and provide for a future Great Ocean Walk around Alexandra Headland
  • all initiatives were strongly supported, achieving a significant majority in excess of 70%, with the exception of one initiative. The one-way pedestrian friendly, slow speed shared street at the southern end of The Esplanade, (between Brisbane Road and River Esplanade) where the result was not clear with a 50/50 result
  • the majority of survey respondents were from the Sunshine Coast community, being residents, workers or business owners of Mooloolaba (46%) or residents from elsewhere in the Sunshine Coast region that visit Mooloolaba (30%).

In addition to the feedback received through council's survey and feedback forms, 153 submissions were received including emails, letters, Facebook and Twitter comments, and an online petition objecting to relocation of the Mooloolaba Esplanade (Northern) Beachside Caravan Park with 3,041 respondents. Following the September 2015 public notification period, the feedback was considered. The following table outlines a summary of the community feedback that resulted in amendments being incorporated into the final placemaking Mooloolaba master plan (appendix A).

ItemFeedbackAmendments to Draft Plan
1.0Revise messaging to further support minimising the impact of the natural environment.
  • Expand text/pages to support 'natural' outcomes
  • Reduce impact of hard landscaping around rock pools to be less intrusive to existing landscape
  • Expand on environmental concerns i.e. rising sea level, sand replenishment program, etc.
2.0Strengthen the link with the Mooloolaba Spit Futures Plan, 2009
  • Outline key directives of the Mooloolaba Spit futures plan regarding the vision and guiding principles
  • Overview and comparison of placemaking Mooloolaba master plan relationship to key initiatives expressed in the futures plan
  • Overview and comparison of implementation plan recommendations
3.0Maintain roadways as per draft master plan along Foreshore/Esplanade as two-way and one-way shared space, subject to further investigations
  • No amendments to drawing required
  • Additional commentary regarding that the design is subject to further traffic movement and access investigations during the next stages of design
4.0Muraban Street to create larger park/open offering/attraction through 'greening' of streetscape
  • Update graphics for streetscape
5.0Include priority projects with implementation and staging plan to be included in the final master plan
  • Add the priority projects, implementation and staging plan as additional section
  • Add a timeline showing the staging of work

Read the community consultation feedback report (PDF, 2627KB).

The master plan

The master plan proposes a vision statement that promotes Mooloolaba's greatest natural and recreational asset - the water.

"Immerse yourself in, on and under the water at Mooloolaba".

Mooloolaba is a world-class beachfront destination that embraces and sustains its outstanding natural beauty. It is a healthy and active place that celebrates it's unique location, connecting ocean to river and headland to spit.

There are four overarching design and planning principles established to translate this vision and provide direction for achieving the range of desirable strategic outcomes.

These principles are:

  • enhance the waterfront experience connecting river to beach and headland to spit
  • connect and activate Mooloolaba's urban areas with waterfronts
  • integrate distinctive destinations that celebrate the diversity and distinctiveness of Mooloolaba's unique precincts and destinations
  • protect and shape the future by promoting sustainable initiatives.

Illustrative master plan by day (PDF, 4371KB).

Illustrative master plan by night (PDF, 7776KB).

Four key precincts listed below were identified during consultation. Collectively, these four places provide distinctive locations for positive change and the creation of new public realm, built form, and access and movement improvements.

Foreshore and esplanade

A place that encourages active, healthy living. A wide, continuous waterfront pedestrian and cycle promenade takes in Mooloolaba's greatest natural assets along a 1km string of community, cultural, recreational and event spaces. An additional 40% of public parkland caters to a variety of activities and experiences - from family barbecues on the lawn to hosting weddings, markets, festivals and events.

The Mooloolaba heart

The heart of Mooloolaba is an authentic, alternative destination away from the water. It is a walkable hub of subtropical streets activated by a mix of local business and residential accommodation. It is Mooloolaba's transport hub for bus, public car parking and future light rail, and is activated throughout the day and by night.

A revitalised wharf precinct

The revitalised wharf is a gateway to the delights of the Pacific Ocean. It is a place where boating, fisheries, seafood, aquatic tourism, education and conservation combine with high quality public space and new residential and entertainment uses.

Southern gateway

The Brisbane Road corridor is the main southern entry into Mooloolaba. The corridor is proposed to be widened to four-lanes and also accommodate possible future light rail. Both projects present an opportunity to enhance the gateway arrival experience into Mooloolaba, established by introducing distinctive and memorable treatments along the corridor.

Refer to the Mooloolaba transport corridor upgrade and Sunshine Coast mass transit project for further information.


For more information about the project, please contact council - refer to the place project officer.

If you want to be included on council's mailing list and be kept informed about  the project, please email [email protected] with your contact details (name, email and Phone) or write to:

Placemaking Mooloolaba

Sunshine Coast Council

Locked Bag 72

Sunshine Coast Mail Centre QLD 4560.

Related information