SPEAKING OUT: Protesters gather at Tickle Park, Coolum, opposing the proposed Sekisui House high-rise development at Yaroomba.
SPEAKING OUT: Protesters gather at Tickle Park, Coolum, opposing the proposed Sekisui House high-rise development at Yaroomba. Brett Wortman

Sekisui protest slams ‘farcical’ consultation

PROTESTERS have slammed "farcical" efforts at community consultation, as hundreds turned out to publicly reject proposed changes to the Town Plan.

Despite council delaying a meeting to consider amendments to the Town Plan until next year, Development Watch spokeswoman Julie Failor yesterday criticised the Sekisui House attempts to engage with the community over the proposed development at Yaroomba.

"As plans and things come to light, we're realising that all this is farcical," Ms Failor said.

Mayor Mark Jamieson remained steadfast in his position that council was doing the right thing by both the community and potential investors.

"Sekisui House approached Sunshine Coast Council with its Yaroomba proposition late last year when council was in the final stages of preparing the new Planning Scheme," he said.

"It would have been counter-productive and unreasonable to allow such a substantial change to the Planning Scheme, given the public consultation period was already completed.

"Council agreed to consider any proposal in the first round of amendments - a process which requires full community consultation and is the normal course of business for councils across the nation."

Are you happy with the consultation around the Sekisui proposal?

This poll ended on 23 November 2015.

Current Results

No. I don't feel as though they've been serious about it.

78%

No. They may be trying but it's not working at all.

6%

Yes. I've had my say even if I doubt I'll get my way.

4%

Yes and I feel like they've listened to me.

11%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Ms Failor questioned why Sekisui House had chosen sites like Woolworths Maleny to seek community input, and why council continued to discuss matters behind closed doors.

A passionate address from former councillor Vivienne Griffin helped spark the crowd of about 500 to vent their frustrations, as they also took to mass text messaging various councillors to make their opposition to the Sekisui House proposal known.

Sunshine Coast Environment Council spokeswoman Narelle McCarthy said she was disappointed at some councillors' continued ignorance of public opinion, as the community's attitude was clear.

"Sekisui need to develop in accordance with the current Town Plan and do it in sympathy to the environment," she said.

Cr Jamieson reiterated that any proposed amendment to the planning scheme would not equate to a set-in-stone decision.

"Any Planning Scheme amendment, if it were to be proposed by council, would need to go through a number of processes before an amendment is actually made," he said.


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