100% Locally Owned, Independent and Free

100% Locally Owned, Independent and Free

'Good practical solutions': councillor urges united effort over school parking problem

Do you have a news tip? Click here to send to our news team.

Fishing report: Jasper’s big reef haul

We've finally enjoyed a run of good weather, with beautiful sunny days and minimal wind. The weather is looking pretty good for the coming weekend More

Major bank to relocate town’s only branch

A big four bank is set to relocate its only remaining branch in a busy town, meaning customers will need to go to the More

Upgrades for three busy intersections on main road

Works have started on improving a trio of intersections on bustling Nicklin Way. The upgrades are set to help reduce congestion and the potential for More

Crane arrival marks new heights for hospital construction

The skyline of new Maroochydore CBD is transforming with the arrival of a tower crane on the Maroochy Private Hospital construction site, marking another More

New deputy mayor appointed as Natoli makes first address

The new Sunshine Coast Council has held its post-election meeting, with Councillor Maria Suarez to serve as the region’s new deputy mayor. Cr Suarez, who More

Photo of the day: sunrise reflections

Sunrise at Mooloolaba Beach, by Helen Browne. If you have a photo of the day offering, email photo@sunshinecoastnews.com.au. Photos must be horizontal/landscape and may need More

A Sunshine Coast councillor has urged the council to work with the state government to find a better solution to a primary school’s parking woes, after high-tech cameras were installed to monitor parking near the campus.

Earlier this month, it was revealed that Buderim Mountain State School’s P&C Association and council would work together to regulate parking along Buderim’s Main Street, Clithero Avenue and Elizabeth Street using the ParkSmart program.

After a two-week education period, when the council will only issue caution notices, anyone parking illegally will be issued with an infringement notice by post.

But Councillor Ted Hungerford says the clampdown is unnecessary and that he has had plans in place since 2016 to improve the traffic flow in the area.

The concept plans Cr Ted Hungerford had drawn up in 2016.

“It doesn’t really solve anything,” he said.

“We’ve had this other proposal here for seven years to improve the traffic flow and safety for the kids at the school.

“Just fining people doesn’t solve the problem. I’d rather make a better situation for people.”

A spokesperson for the Buderim Mountain State School Parents and Citizens Association said it had tried a raft of other measures to alleviate the parking issues before approaching the council to implement the ParkSmart trial.

“The safety of our students, families and staff is paramount,” they said.

“We have taken several different approaches to improve traffic safety over the years – including through community education videos and improved signage.

“After careful consideration, the committee took the decision to partner with council in the ParkSmart trial to assist with regulating parking along Buderim Main Street, Clithero Avenue and Elizabeth Street, to promote safe and equitable parking access for families.”

Related story: No escape from fines: high-tech car park monitoring

The P&C says the school has a staff car park onsite and street parking available for parents and visitors, plus an offsite drop-off and pick-up zone.

“Many of our students take advantage of free or subsidised student bus travel across our catchment area,” the spokesperson said.

The Buderim Lions also lead a Walk to School program each Wednesday that encourages students to walk to school from various meeting points across Buderim.

A Sunshine Coast Council spokesperson said the ParkSmart trial aimed to improve safety around the school.

“Despite efforts to educate the school community about parking requirements, the school continues to experience on-going car parking issues around the school grounds,” they said.

“Because these parking issues were not resolved, the school approached Sunshine Coast Council for assistance.

“Council, in partnership with the school, agreed to implement the ParkSmart (school camera) trial.”

A ParkSmart vehicle in action.

Garry Bates, who is the former chairman of the now-defunct Buderim Safe Committee, said resorting to fines would not solve the problem.

“This form of monitoring and fining represents a failure by council to provide adequate facility for this purpose over many years, despite the growing traffic population and congestion obvious in the Buderim central area,” he said.

“It is unfortunate again that council has rejected numerous submissions, in particular by the then Buderim Safe Committee, to provide controlled drop-off zones in and around the BMSS over a period of decades.”

Cr Ted Hungerford.

An Education Department spokesperson said Buderim Mountain State School, like all Queensland state schools, placed the highest priority on ensuring the safety of students, staff and members of the school community.

“The principal works with the P&C, regional office, the Queensland Government and local council to explore a range of options to address parking issues,” they said.

“In 2022, the department purchased a parcel of land to the east of the school site, located at 11-13 Gloucester Road, Buderim, to provide potential options for future additional parking and a stop, drop and go zone. At this time, no funding has been allocated for the stop, drop and go zone. However, the department will work with the school to seek appropriate funding opportunities.

“The school currently has a staff car park on site and street parking available for parents and/or visitors. There is also an off-site drop-off and pick-up zone, which ensures the safety of students arriving and departing school.

“The pick-up zone is supervised by school staff each afternoon to assist with students safely entering vehicles, as well as supporting parents to safely and legally park in the pick-up zone.

“Parking on public roads is the responsibility of local councils and the Department Transport and Main Roads.”

The proposed concept plan for Buderim Mountain State School.

Cr Hungerford said he had a plan drawn up in 2016 for a drop-off and pick-up zone between Elizabeth Street and Clithero Avenue, and had set aside money from his budget each year to bring it to fruition.

He urged the council to work with the Education Department to come up with a solution, suggesting a similar arrangement to the construction of the Eudlo Creek pedestrian bridge at Diddillibah.

“In politics, a lot try to say: ‘it’s the other one’s fault’ or ‘it’s yours, you’ve got to fix it’ – I’d rather council and the state government work together to create a better situation,” he said.

“I’ve always stood at the ready each year to put money from my budget towards it and I’ve lived in hope that it would come to fruition, because it will create a better situation for everyone, but politics is like that.

“All schools have that issue, and that’s where I got the idea. Some schools have pick-up and drop-off zones and it depends on the geography of the area and what you’ve got. I looked at Buderim school and said, ‘OK, how can we make a better situation here?’ and that’s what the engineers came up with.

“Politics is a strange game. It gets frustrating sometimes.”

A detailed view of the concept plan for Clithero Avenue.

“We could have here like we did on Eudlo Creek: the footbridge-cycle facility. That bridge was two-thirds (state government), one-third (council) funded, with council being the project manager, which worked very well, and I’m very keen to get the same sort of situation here.

“I’m a positive person. I’d rather work with people but in politics you don’t always get that climate.

“The P&Cs wanted us to do that (fines) for years and I’ve resisted it, but the P&C and the school have demanded that council work with them. It’s their initiative that they want this done. That’s their solution to the problem, and I don’t think it’s a solution at all.”

Cr Hungerford said he had taken his plans to the Education Department but had not gained support for the idea.

“Can you hear how frustrated I am? For seven years, I’ve had a plan and I can’t get traction … I come up with good practical solutions. It’s just a matter of getting them put in place,” he said.

Sunshine Coast News asked the Education Department about Cr Hungerford’s proposal but did not receive a specific answer about it.

Do you have an opinion to share? Submit a Letter to the Editor at Sunshine Coast News via news@sunshinecoastnews.com.auYou must include your name and suburb.

[scn_go_back_button] Return Home

Subscribe to SCN’s daily news email

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.