From producing coffee to alpacas, the way we use the Noosa hinterland is transforming, and a USC environmental planning expert wants to know more.
Associate Professor Claudia Baldwin is surveying residents as part of a project with sustainability organisation Country Noosa to identify opportunities for collaborative rural enterprises including food production, events and tourism opportunities.
“We want to know the activities and the ambitions that Noosa hinterland residents have for their areas,” Dr Baldwin said.
“The area is in transition and niche agriculture enterprises are developing, including coffee, alpacas, and medicinal and culinary herbs as well as an interest in alternative handling techniques for livestock and farm tourism.
“There’s a lot of revegetation, soil regeneration, and conservation activities as well as environmentally sustainable farm management with many growing spray-free, organic, biodynamic foods and practising permaculture.
“There is potential for a broad range of innovative rural enterprise.”
Residents of Noosa’s rural community recently attended workshops at Kin Kin, Pomona, Cooroy and Tewantin to have their say.
She is now encouraging rural residents to share their ideas via complete an online survey at http://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NoosaRuralEnterprisePlan
Survey forms are also available at Pomona Ag Supplies, Sauers Produce and Garden Centre Cooroy and True Value Hardware Pomona.
“It’s an exciting time for rural residents to have some influence and get the support they need,” said Dr Baldwin.
The project is funded by Noosa Biosphere Reserve Foundation’s Big Ideas program.