‘So far behind’: Time is now for funding, chamber boss says
Caloundra must get its fair share of funding and infrastructure so major city-making projects can get off the ground.
That is according to a key business player in the area keen for the region to keep up with rapid population growth expected in coming years.
Caloundra Chamber of Commerce president Michael Shadforth said there was no shortage of exciting projects proposed for the area and its surrounding suburbs.
On Thursday The Daily revealed 11 of the projects that would shape Caloundra within coming years.
Mr Shadforth said governments had to prioritise funding them.
Mr Shadforth said Caloundra should receive the same funding and infrastructure as northern suburbs Maroochydore and Mooloolaba.
“It is so far behind where it needs to be,” he said.
“Caloundra will be bigger than Buderim and we don’t have the infrastructure to handle that.”
The population of the Sunshine Coast is forecast to grow to more than 500,000 people by 2041.
The majority of those new residents are expected to live between Maroochydore and Caloundra – known as the “enterprise corridor”.
Mr Shadforth said an immediate solution must be found for traffic congestion in and around Caloundra.
He said the chamber, council and other groups were looking at the possibility of using e-bikes and scooters to help people get around the area easier.
Mr Shadforth said plans for a new town square and an art gallery should also be at the “highest level of priority” for Sunshine Coast Council.
The council is continuing work on the Create Caloundra project but funding commitments are yet to be made.
It will start the second phase of community engagement in May by releasing updated concept plans and asking “Have we got it right?”.
A spokesman said the council’s preliminary design and feasibility for the new Caloundra District Library was almost finished.
The spokesman said development of a business case for the new Caloundra Regional Gallery was also due to start in coming months.
“The spark that a gallery creates and the way the community will interact with it in the centre of the CBD is going to be critical in the way Caloundra is shaped going forward,” Mr Shadforth said.
“We’ve had the Mooloolaba foreshore work, the Maroochydore CBD, now we need to see major investment in Caloundra.”
Caloundra’s representative at the Sunshine Coast Council chambers, Terry Landsberg, said the Create Caloundra project was on the top of his priority list.
“Arts and culture is extremely important … a lot of people come to the Coast not only to appreciate the magnificent beaches but also because they have an interest in art,” he said.
“Maintaining our lifestyle is also one of my priorities.
“There are concerns for secondary dwellings and infill development.
“The population numbers have been put on us from the State Government’s South East Queensland Regional Plan so we need to be careful in our review of the planning scheme and look at ways to minimise the impact to our residents from infill development.”