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How almost 100 hectares near a riverside town will help create a healthier community

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Almost 100 hectares have been set aside for sport and recreation near a flourishing rural town on the Sunshine Coast.

The 97 hectares at Godfreys Avenue, a former cane farm near Bli Bli, was purchased by Sunshine Coast Council for $6 million.

It will add to the existing network of Council owned and managed sport and recreation spaces.

The properties are located just north of the Maroochy River and on the western side of the Sunshine Motorway.

Sunshine Coast Council Division 9 and Environment and Liveability Portfolio Councillor, Maria Suarez, said the area would help Council maintain the rate of four hectares of sport and recreation land per 1000 residents.

She said this was a target set in the Banksia award-winning Environment and Liveability Strategy.

“It will also ensure public open space is distributed equitably throughout the Sunshine Coast local government area so everyone has access,” Cr Suarez said.

“Sport and recreation spaces are fundamental to our region’s future and this purchase demonstrates Council’s commitment to proactively plan and deliver long-term projects which protect our region’s environment and liveability, and provide the active, healthy lifestyle we all value.

“This strategic acquisition takes a long-term view as to what our community will need in respect to providing sport and recreation facilities as the population grows.”

Picture: Shutterstock

The land was purchased in line with Council’s Local Government Infrastructure Plan, with a significant financial contribution made by developers by way of Infrastructure Charges, to provide for major recreation parks and sports grounds.

“It will be a number of years before residents will see facilities coming out of the ground and there remains a great deal of planning and funding to be sought before this project officially commences,” Cr Suarez said.

“Open spaces also help council mitigate the impacts of climate change by contributing to managing flood waters in extreme weather events.

“These lands, located within the Blue Heart, build on the important work already done in the area and will contribute to the environmental, social and economic co-benefits the project seeks to achieve.”

The Blue Heart is an area of more than 5000 hectares on a natural floodplain in the Maroochy River catchment and includes about 1400 hectares of public land.

In addition to the recently-purchased Godfreys Avenue land, it also includes council’s Coolum Creek Environment Reserve network, the Queensland Government’s Coolum Creek Conservation Park and Unitywater’s Yandina Creek Wetland.

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Cr Suarez said a key objective for the Blue Heart included protecting the Maroochy River floodplain as a flood storage area.

“It also seeks to provide opportunities for sport and recreation parks and sports grounds for the community to enjoy,” she said.

“This purchase aligns with the Sunshine Coast Community Strategy 2019-2041 which aims to empower our community to live healthy and active lifestyles.

“It’s through integrated, strategic planning and innovative projects that council will realise our vision for the Sunshine Coast: Australia’s most sustainable region – Healthy. Smart. Creative.”

To find out more visit Blue Heart Sunshine Coast.

 

 

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