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'Batting above average': mayor praises council's efforts to support community

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The local housing crisis is among the key issues addressed in a Noosa Council report that details its achievements, initiatives and projects from the past 12 months.

Acting CEO Larry Senstock compiled the 28-page Year in Review, which was tabled at last week’s General Committee Meeting.

It focused on council’s record $43 million capital works program, new corporate plan and housing strategy.

Mayor Clare Stewart said the report was a revealing read.

“The report shows just how big a year it’s been, with much achieved in 12 months,” she said via a council media release.

“We’ve implemented change, navigated challenges and notched up plenty of triumphs.”

She said council had taken steps towards addressing the region’s housing crisis.

“We finalised our housing strategy and we’re delivering its actions – planning scheme amendments to encourage smaller, affordable housing are before the state for approval and we’ve signed an MOU with a housing provider to progress housing opportunities on council land,” she said. 

The mayor said a letter-writing campaign to encourage short-stay owners to place their properties on the permanent rental market was a success, with more than 60 owners taking up the call and helping provide permanent homes for locals.

Homes from Noosa, stretching towards Peregian Beach. Picture: Shutterstock.

Fire management remained a priority, with the council delivering four in-house controlled burns, while 16 staff now have nationally accredited fire training. The Firetech program is testing AI and other tech to detect, predict and remotely fight bushfires. 

It was a significant year of infrastructure delivery, with council completing a record a $43 million capital works program. 

Projects included a new roundabout for the future Tewantin Bypass, the $3 million Wahpunga Lane Bridge renewal, a $1.55 million upgrade for a 2km section of Middle Creek Road, and the $1.3 million Cooroy Belli Creek Road upgrade.

“Our Infrastructure Services team has worked tirelessly on the most ambitious capital works program we’ve ever tackled, all while overseeing an $80 million flood recovery works program,” the mayor said.

Mayor Clare Stewart praised the efforts of council.

Council’s Sport and Recreation team secured more than $3 million from six different funding programs to support local sport and recreation projects, plus deliver the Olive Donaldson Pavilion at Noosa District Sports Complex.

The mayor said an expansion of the Noosa Library Service was a big win, with a more versatile mobile library now on the road, and two library kiosks expanding access to the library’s services. 

“Other highlights include 42 per cent of the shire’s land now protected as conservation land, plus we’ve upgraded the Noosa Trail Network’s Cooroora Trail, distributed significant funds to community groups, provided over 50,000 hours of service to local seniors through Noosa Seniors, and refreshed our council brand,” she said.

“It’s been a huge year. Council is batting above its average to support our community.” 

The CEO’s Year in Review report is available at Noosa Council. 

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