Our rates are calculated under a minimum general rates system. That means you pay a rate fee based on your land value regardless of whether you live in Division 9, in the hinterland or in the urban centre. However, the Council’s focus on public transport, road upgrades, parking solutions and access to waste facilities are predominately focussed on areas south of Maroochy River. Future projects and plans again have a southern division focus and only extend as far north as the airport.
Residents in Division 9 are desperately calling for
- better roads
- traffic calming measures to increase safety
- pedestrian crossings and pathways
- solutions to parking in our town centres and residential streets
- bridge repairs
- dangerous roads need sealing
- community centres where there are none
- increased waste collection services
If Council provided green waste bins to all dwellings, it would assist in achieving their goal of reducing green waste in landfill. Additionally, this service would reduce the dumping of green waste by residents in adjoining parks, reserves and along pathways. There is also a clear need for better access to waste facilities for residents in Division 9 with no transfer stations found within. The closest full-service waste facility is in Nambour, which is open all week and offers most services, but is a fair drive for most of the residents in Division 9. More centrally, a transfer station at Yandina is insufficient as it is only open for 5hrs on weekends and does not accept green waste.
I’d like to increase our regions recycling efforts and reduce illegal dumping by investigating options such as:
- providing ‘green waste bins’ to all dwellings
- ‘roadside collection’ of hard waste, or
- nominate a number ‘free tip days’, or
- provide ‘tip vouchers’ to the dwelling address when rates have been paid.
Residents are being told there is no money for these requests. No money for even the seemingly small things. Numerous residents in Bli Bli told me about the dog waste problem along their pathways. One resident was told that Council couldn’t afford to install a dog poo bag dispenser in their busy park! This seems laughable when Council are willing to accept an annual loss on music festivals, spend thousands on unnecessary promotional material and wish to construct a $59.9m ‘City Hall’ when the Nambour and Caloundra council offices will remain open. What is the great urgency to spend ratepayer’s money on non-critical projects and activities instead of increasing basic services to residents?
The Maroochy City Centre is planned to be the centre of the Sunshine Coast’s economic and social hub. With this, it is hoped that a large number of employment opportunities will become available. Here’s the thing… if a resident of Division 9 got a job in the Maroochy CBD, how are you going to get there? Bus stops are too few and too far between for many residents in Division 9, resulting in the ‘last mile’ phenomenon, where it’s too far to walk to the bus stop and there is nowhere to park your car if you drive to it.
The choice faced by many Division 9 residents will instead be to drive to employment in Maroochydore with the challenge of finding a free park for the duration of your work shift. As your council representative, I would advocate strongly for better transport services for residents of Division 9 and work with State representatives to progress the approval of the required upgrades.
With existing parking problems, increased pressure on traffic congestion from high density development approvals, no planned public transport improvements considered for communities north of the airport and no funding for road upgrades, residents will need a strong voice to gain serious attention for the residents within Division 9.