The Sippy Downs & District Community Association would like to acknowledge and thank Mayor Mark Jamieson and Councillors John Connolly, Greg Rogerson and Jason O'Pray for supporting Cr Christian Dickson's procedural motion at Council's Ordinary meeting on 19 July. The motion was as follows:
(a) Defer consideration of the report titled "Palmview Urban Development Investigation Areas" until such time as a meeting is held between the affected land owner's representatives, relevant stakeholders, Councillors and Council Officers;
(b) In consultation with Councillors Baberowski and Dickson, identify, contact and invite relevant stakeholders to meet as outlined in (a) above; and
(c) Request that the Chief Executive Officer provides a report to an Ordinary Meeting no later than one month following the meeting as outlined in (a) above.
SDDCA President Matt Druce said, "The SDDCA particularly gives special thanks to Cr Christian Dickson. During his 12 years as our divisional Councillor, he has always ensured the views of the SDDCA, other local community groups and residents are seriously taken into consideration when making representations to Council. We appreciate that he always acts with the betterment of our community in mind. In relation to this particular issue his actions, passion and support have been greatly appreciated and we are confident he will continue to act to ensure the best possible outcome for our community is achieved in the long run.
The SDDCA had a strong interest in the draft determination made by Council as it involved a proposal for approximately 6 hectares of land dedication for community facilities, together with 2.5 million dollars to construct playing fields, a community building and associated infrastructure.
After viewing Council's 78-page report which was only publicly released 3.5 working days before Councillor's made their determination, SDDCA representatives met with both council planning staff and the planning consultant acting on behalf of the landowners.
These discussions raised anomalies in the report that councillors would be basing their decision on. We, therefore, asked our divisional Councillor to put forward the motion asking for an extension of time, to allow a meeting to bring together council's planning staff, the landowners and consultant, councillors and community representatives. This would be an opportunity to view expert's reports addressing inconsistencies relating to flooding and ecological reports and work on solutions to the issues raised by council staff.
We were not asking for Councillors to approve the project, simply for more time. We were extremely disappointed that the motion was not supported by 6 of the 11 Sunshine Coast Councillors as there were no statutory timelines in place for this process.
The reason given by some of the Councillors for voting against the motion was that there would most likely not be a different outcome after the extension of time. We would have at least liked the opportunity for an open, transparent discussion with all stakeholders, including the community. I would think that most ratepayers would expect their Councillors to be supportive of this, especially when it involves community facilities that are desperately needed and wanted by their constituents.
The SDDCA has been working with the council, the planning consultant and landowners since 2009 and made numerous submissions during the Palmview Structure Plan process. We successfully lobbied for access to the Bruce Highway via the western road; removal of the north-south Greenlink that would have adversely affected residents; and appropriate sequencing of the road network and development. Considering this history, as volunteers who are simply trying to ensure the best outcome for our community, we feel extremely let down.
Despite Councillors voting to support the officer's recommendation, we hope that during the two month period that Council allows for landowners to make a submission
to the draft determination, the SDDCA will finally have the opportunity to have roundtable discussion to address any issues. We also trust that considering this was only a draft determination, that Councillors will be open to considering additional expert technical advice."
The proposed community facilities on Peter Crosby Way is included as an agenda item for the Sippy Downs & District Community Association's AGM on 29 August. At this meeting, we will provide an update on the process. All residents are encouraged to attend. Meeting details will be posted on the SDDCA website - www.sippydowns.org