It was interesting to read Howie Hughes’s observation of Noosa from the air, pointing out that they have ten times the population and it is a great place. He uses that to support the West Byron development.
I agree, it is worth having a look at how Noosa, the shire that just got un-amalgamated from the new Sunshine, coped with a similar situation to Byron Shire, in which there were considerable pressures for development and conservation with a strong anti-highrise and urban sprawl attitude in the community.
With decades of intense politics similar to Byron Shire, they came up with the Noosa Plan in 2006, after much community consultation. They had had for years too much congestion around Main Beach and so moved the CBD two kilometres to Noosa Junction, and created Noosa Civic another seven kilometres inland, with 100 specialty stores, and the library in a forest setting nearby, all with lots of parking. See ‘Sustainability in Noosa’ for a description of the exhaustive process. They have achieved a way of accommodating rapid growth and at the same time have protected large amounts of the natural environment in national parks.
Byron has its own unique culture quite different from Noosa’s. However, similar thinking could apply here. Would the proposed West Byron development seem appropriate from that perspective? Surely not! That seems to be more like something someone might drop out of a plane.
Jed Stuart, Wilsons Creek