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Community engagement

Local community input is critical in planning for a place.

The Sunshine Coast community is highly interested and passionate about our region and its future. We know our region is a special place to live, work and visit and we recognise the importance of implementing a land use plan planning framework that reflects our community's aspirations and values.

New planning scheme engagement stages

The consultation and engagement program for the new Sunshine Coast planning scheme project includes two key community consultation phases:

  • Preliminary (non-statutory) consultation (completed 2022) - More than 8000 people provided valuable feedback on a proposed vision and regional planning directions for the new planning scheme and contributed their ideas to local area planning. Feedback received is helping to inform the detailed drafting of the new planning scheme. Read the Preliminary consultation - summary and outcomes brochure for more information, or visit our Have your say website
  • Formal (statutory) consultation on a draft version of the new planning scheme, including details such as proposed zoning and code provisions. This will occur once the State Interest Review process has been completed and the State approves the draft new planning scheme to undergo public consultation. This is anticipated to occur in 2024 (noting that the timing of the State Interest Review process is outside of Council’s control).

The consultation and engagement approach for the new planning scheme is summarised in the figure below. The key community involvement milestones are highlighted below.

Ongoing Activities: 

  • project website
  • project updates
  • contact the team mailbox 
  • reference groups; and 
  • key stakeholder engagement activities.

* The plan making process is anticipated to take around 4 years to complete (noting that the timing of certain steps in the process, such as state interest reviews, are not within council's control).

Preliminary consultation

Council’s first step toward creating a new planning scheme which reflects our community’s vision for the region, was to seek early community input in 2022, as part of the preliminary consultation program.

The engagement activity included:

  • 20 online surveys (including 18 specific local plan area surveys)
  • 18 online information sessions (during COVID restrictions)
  • 16 advocacy groups interviews
  • 12 pop-up information sessions (after COVID restrictions eased)
  • 10 deliberative workshops
  • 7 community group briefings
  • 6 high school presentations
  • 6 industry events and briefings
  • 2 university presentations
  • 1 youth council presentation
  • more than 80 social media posts (receiving over 75,000 engagements – reactions, comments, saves, shares)
  • direct engagement via email and phone.

During the preliminary consultation period, more than 8000 people provided valuable feedback on a proposed vision and regional planning directions for the new planning scheme and contributed their ideas to local area planning.

This feedback is helping to inform the detailed drafting of the new planning scheme.

The preliminary consultation was one of council’s largest and most successful engagement projects and was a clear testament to our commitment to ensuring the community plays a meaningful role in the preparation of the new planning scheme.

More than 6000 surveys were completed and a further 375 written submissions were made during the preliminary consultation period. Council also gathered community input via a range of online and in-person information and discussion sessions and held meetings and focus interviews with a wide variety of community and stakeholder groups.

Feedback received indicated that planning priorities for our region included protecting the natural environment and green spaces, maintaining building heights within set limits, improving our region's resilience to climate change, retaining local character and providing parks and open space.

Community input indicated high levels of support for most proposed planning directions and also highlighted some local area concerns that will be further and carefully considered in the more detailed drafting of the new planning scheme.

Read the Preliminary consultation - summary and outcomes brochure for more information, or visit our Have your say website.

This preliminary consultation was the first of two key opportunities for the community to have their say on the new Sunshine Coast planning scheme project. The community will have another opportunity to provide feedback on the draft planning scheme itself, including details such as proposed zoning and code provisions. This will occur following the State Interest Review and anticipated to be in 2024 (noting that the timing of the State Interest Review process is outside of Council’s control).

Reference groups

A community reference group (CRG) and a technical reference group (TRG) have both been formed to assist with the new planning scheme project.

Ongoing engagement activities

Ongoing engagement activities and opportunities include:

  • project updates to subscribers and on the project website (sign up for updates below)
  • ongoing ability to contact the project team directly (by email at [email protected] or phone on 07 5420 8953).

Council's community engagement policy and framework

View further information on council's community engagement policy and framework.