ThinkChange ™ – Working together for a healthier, more connected and sustainable Sunshine Coast.
ThinkChange ™ is council’s branded travel behaviour change program and is a key action of the Integrated Transport Strategy. At its core, ThinkChange is about helping everyone on the Sunshine Coast identify ways we can all reduce our car use and how far we travel in our cars, so we can all help achieve a healthier, more connected and sustainable Sunshine Coast. To do this, Sunshine Coast Council will partner with organisations, communities and groups willing to effect change.
Council does run travel behaviour change activities that you might know about. For example, finding ways for kids to cycle safely to school, supporting programs that encourage walking and providing information on passenger transport options available. These are excellent and will continue. What’s new, is that ThinkChange is more than a series of activities, it is a commitment to work with the community to identify and implement different ways we can all make changes so that we have less congestion and better liveability on the Sunshine Coast. It’s about generating new, and often simple, ideas and turning them into action. When asked, people can easily think about small changes that can reduce their car use such as:
- going to a closer activity
- doing something as part of another trip
- using online services
- sharing a ride
- asking a friend or neighbour to do something for you on their trip
- replacing a short car trip with walking, scooting or cycling.
Some people may already be implementing this approach without consciously realising it!
Even little changes at an individual level have the potential to have a big impact, with an expected cumulative effect across the Sunshine Coast. Ultimately, whether changes are made at an individual, organisational or community level, the benefits to the region have the potential to be wide ranging by:
- reduced traffic and congestion on our roads
- lower carbon emissions
- improved health and wellbeing
- more connected communities
- economic benefits.
ThinkChange pilot initiatives
To date, five pilot initiatives have been developed in collaboration with participating partners with an aim to expand across the region over time. A process for working with the community to identify and co-design new initiatives will also be implemented. The five pilot initiatives to be progressed to delivery are:
- Palmview State Primary School: ThinkChange Palmview School Initiative - walking caravan and cycle school programs
- Bli Bli State Primary School: ThinkChange Bli Bli State School Initiative – reducing car use and increasing walking, scooting and cycling
- Sunshine Coast Council: ThinkChange Move Initiative - reducing car use to the new Maroochydore Administration Building
- Sunshine Coast Council Stadium: ThinkChange Sunshine Coast Stadium Initiative - managing car access
- Aura Stockland: ThinkChange Aura Stockland initiative - ‘linking locals’.
Get involved as an organisation, business, or community group
This is a program that is designed with organisations, businesses, and community groups in mind.
To get started on a ThinkChange initiative in your area, your organisation, or for your event, we suggest you do the following:
- Have a conversation amongst yourselves about the specific problem(s) you are trying to address and how it relates to ThinkChange. Some questions to get you started – What is being impacted? Is there traffic congestion? Is it taking longer to get places? Can I reduce my fuel bill to ease my cost of living? What is your desired outcome? When you clearly articulate the problem, solutions become more obvious!
- Once you have identified the issue and thought about any potential solutions, contact council, you can also call (07) 5475 7272, or email [email protected]. Don’t worry you don’t need to have all the solutions and answers before you contact us. We are here to support and work with you.
Get involved as an individual
No matter where you live in the Sunshine Coast Council local government area, you can play a role in reducing car use and get involved in ThinkChange. You don’t need to be part of a formal ThinkChange initiative. It will be easier for some people than others. The thing to remember is small changes can add up to something bigger. Here are some tips to get you started thinking about your life and travel:
- Rethink: Can you plan ways to make life easier by doing things differently? For example, can you ask a friend or neighbour to do something for you on their trip, or can you offer to do something for your friend or neighbour on your trip?
- Retime: Could you travel at a different time to avoid traffic? For example, can you leave for work a little later to avoid the peak and go for a walk, run or surf before you leave?
- Reduce: Can you plan your day or week so that you make less trips? For example, can you share a lift with another parent to get your child to and from sport and after school activities? Can you order your shopping online and collect on your way home from work?
- Remode: Are there short trips you make in the car that could be done by walking, scooting or cycling? For example, can you and your child walk, scoot or ride to school occasionally to avoid the traffic and improve your health and wellbeing?
- Reroute: Can you take an alternate route that is less congested or access a closer activity? For example, can you support your local businesses more and have more time for yourself?