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.
Council are currently preparing a new planning scheme. It is intended that the new planning scheme will be completed by 2024.
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
There is a three-step process for the Queensland Government’s Business Case Development Framework that needs to be undertaken before a decision about infrastructure investment can be made.
Steps 1 and 2 identify the problem, investigate the strategic need and analyse a range of possible solutions. These two have been led by council. Council endorsed the Strategic Business Case in 2019 and the Options Analysis 20 October 2021. Step 3 is now being led by the Queensland Government in partnership with council and the Australian 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 – endorsed by council 20 October 2021
Council endorsed the Options Analysis 20 October 2021. The Options Analysis was finalised after considering the feedback received during the community engagement process conducted from 28 April 2021 to 22 June 2021. The Options Analysis considered a range of options and recommended five options to be further investigated in the Detailed Business Case.
The Options Analysis has been referred to the Queensland Government.
Step 3: Preparation of a Detailed Business Case – Commencing 2022
The Detailed Business Case will evaluate the viability of the options, confirming the economic, social, environmental and financial viability for investment decision making.
Community engagement will be an important component of the Detailed Business Case preparation.
Council will work in partnership with the Queensland and Australian governments to produce the Detailed Business Case. When complete, it will be provided to the State and Commonwealth governments for funding consideration.
The Australian and Queensland governments, along with Sunshine Coast Council, have committed $5 million each towards the Detailed Business Case.
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.