Sunshine Coast Council has defended the planned “relocation” of a well-known beachside car park, which is set to make way for a new-look foreshore.
Beach Terrace, in the heart of tourist mecca Mooloolaba, is in line to be replaced by parkland.
The stretch of road, renowned for its proximity to the famous beach, has been a free, bumper-to-bumper car parking option for locals and visitors, and a key location for sports and community events.
But council has confirmed the road is poised to go, with 150 carparks to be “relocated” to the car parking facility on Brisbane Road.
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Community groups are outraged.
The Mooloolaba Business Community Alliance said the proposed construction and completion of a nearby seawall and the parkland would hurt the beach and the tourism industry.
And the president of the Mooloolaba Chamber of Commerce, Graeme Juniper, said the “relocation” of the lower car park would be a significant blow for local business.
“Visitors come to the Sunshine Coast for three reasons: the beach, dining and shopping,” he said.
“The Mooloolaba brand has an exceptional reputation and council’s plan appears to have forgotten or ignored this.
“With the car park gone, and the (nearby) multi-level car park not operating effectively, it will mean residents and visitors will have very little parking to access the beach or businesses.”
Council defended its decision to essentially remove Beach Terrace and its associated carparks.
A spokesperson said most locals had agreed to the move.
“More than 3000 participants took part in the community engagement for the Placemaking Mooloolaba Master Plan and 84 per cent of them supported the removal of the Beach Terrace roadway and relocation of about 150 foreshore carparks to the Brisbane Road car park site,” they said.
“It (the master plan) also included building the undercover parking at ParknGo Mooloolaba Central, with more than 700 public car parking spaces. It is 300m to Mooloolaba Beach.”
The spokesperson said the change would significantly enhance the area.
“The ParknGo enables the transition of carparks from the foreshore, to realise the creation of a world-class foreshore destination,” they said.
Beach Terrace would essentially be replaced by the Central Parkland, a yet-to-be-started stage of the foreshore project. Full details about its features are yet to be revealed but it’s expected to include expansive open areas.
Council is currently working on the Central Meeting Place and Southern Parkland plan – which includes the building of a replacement seawall, a new amenities block and green space – to replace the existing 50-year-old seawall, the dated Loo with a View and surrounds. The Northern Parkland is already completed.
The spokesperson said some parking options would still be available by the beach, for those who need them most, during and after construction of the seawall and the parklands.
“People with disability carparks, loading bays and drop-off areas will be provided along the foreshore,” they said.
ParknGo Mooloolaba Central, which opened on Brisbane Road in 2020, is open 24 hours a day.
It includes one hour of free parking, with increasing increments to a maximum daily charge of $12.50 for more than five hours.