Waterfront wonderland celebrated as a shining example
  • Thursday 13 October 2022

The Sunshine Coast’s latest beachfront parkland project has won the top accolade at one of Queensland’s most acclaimed industry awards programs, beating more than 50 projects.

Mooloolaba’s $16 million Northern Parkland was crowned Project of the Year and also took out the $10 million to $20 million projects category at the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia Queensland and Northern Territory (IPWEA) 2022 Excellence Awards on Tuesday night (11 October).

The hectare of multi-level beachfront parkland, complete with a 200 metre accessible boardwalk, viewing platforms, state-of-the-art playground, renewed seawall, public amenities, and community infrastructure is attracting thousands of additional visitors to the Mooloolaba foreshore and injecting $5.5 million worth of extra expenditure into local businesses each year.

The coveted awards recognise outstanding community and economic contribution through exceptional project planning, stakeholder engagement, innovation, sustainability and environmental management.

Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson agreed with the judges that the breathtaking parkland, nestled between the Alexandra Headland and Mooloolaba Esplanade, represented exceptional community outcomes.

“Visitors have been flocking to Mooloolaba’s new Northern Parkland,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“The community feedback has been overwhelmingly positive since it opened in June.

“The area provides a significant opportunity to drive renewed visitation and investment into Mooloolaba and, indeed, the whole Sunshine Coast region.

“Local businesses reported an increase in trade due to the new parkland, and several eateries have adapted their menu to accommodate the increased family trade.

“Throughout the Placemaking Mooloolaba Masterplan community engagement process, our community told us to retain and enhance Mooloolaba’s natural beauty, renew spaces along the beachfront, and provide more exciting parks.’’

Mayor Jamieson said the project delivered on the community’s desire to reinvigorate Mooloolaba as a place for locals and attract more permanent residents to the area.

“Mooloolaba’s Northern Parkland transformation includes more than 120 trees and 10,000 new shrubs and groundcovers, along with preserving Norfolk Pines.

“Drawing inspiration from the coastal town’s character and community values, the Northern Parkland celebrates the natural environment and diversity of the Sunshine Coast.

“These awards recognise this project is also a win for our community.”

Sunshine Coast Council Division 4 Councillor Joe Natoli shared in the excitement saying it was a major win for the region.

“The Northern Parkland is huge drawcard and I’d like to thank local residents and businesses for their input into the Master Plan and their cooperation during the construction period,” Cr Natoli said.

“A key focus for the parkland includes prioritising accessibility and inclusivity so all members of our community can enjoy the foreshore.

“It also features signature Sunshine Coast architecture and parkland design, which blends innovative manmade materials with natural elements including timber and locally sourced rock, emphasising the precinct’s sustainable and relaxed beachside style.

“The project team addressed many site considerations to deliver this exciting community space, including detailed engineering concepts for the fully accessible boardwalk, complex hydrology considerations and careful flora and fauna management.

“The team overcame challenges such as a degraded seawall, extreme weather events and global supply constraints.

“It is a great honour for the Northern Parkland to be recognised by the IPWEA, and I sincerely congratulate all those involved in the project.”

Council also acknowledged the local architects, consultants, contractors and specialists who contributed to the project since the original concept design began, which also includes council’s internal construction teams.

Earlier this year, the Northern Parkland project received the Green Space Urban Award by the Australian Institute of Horticulture Inc (AIH), which recognised environmental responsibility and ‘greening’ the built landscape.

The $16 million Stage One Northern Parkland was developed with the support of the Queensland Government’s $50 million Unite and Recover Community Stimulus Package in association with Sunshine Coast Council.  

Council is now undertaking community engagement on Stage Two of the Mooloolaba Foreshore Revitalisation Project – the Central Meeting Place at the top of Brisbane Road.

The community is encouraged to provide feedback on two design concepts at haveyoursay.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au by October 25.