Division 9 has the opportunity to further progress Council’s vision of becoming Australia’s most sustainable region by approving eco-tourism initiatives over areas not suited to residential development in Division 9.
The Blue Heart project lies predominantly within Division 9 and aims to protect and manage the most critical areas of the floodplain. Sunshine Coast Regional Council, Unity Water and Department of Environment and Science have partnered up for this project and it is intended to showcase the delivery of integrated environmental, social and economic outcomes.
The Blue Heart areas is prone to flooding and acts as a critical flood storage area and protects surrounding developments to tidal inundations. This area is zoned unsuitable for residential development and council is attempting to work with landholders to adopt new land management practices that build future economic and environmental resilience.
By restoring native vegetation to the wetlands and encouraging land holders to do the same carbon storage will be increased. Landholder could secure funding in the form of ‘Carbon Credits’. Restoring this area will help manage risks from flooding and storm surge and will reduce Council’s future infrastructure costs.
This project will also enhance the Wallum Corridor between Maroochy River and Noosa, provide educational and eco-tourism opportunities that will appeal to locals and tourists alike, and is a project that I fully support.
Council needs to hold itself to account on its promises to the community on our projects. The Solar Farm is a fantastic move towards renewable energy, yet Council has failed to deliver on the 10m buffer of 36,000 trees. It was supposed to be the Sunshine Coast’s largest revegetation project, instead this vast number of trees has been deleted from current information and a sparse 5m buffer exists two years after the project was officially opened. I will advocate for this task to be completed to deliver the benefits of carbon collection and visual amenity.