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Foreshore construction report to be prepared for new council before works start

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A construction contract will not be awarded for Stage 2 of the Mooloolaba Foreshore Revitalisation Project until after March’s elections, it was decided at Sunshine Coast Council’s monthly meeting on Thursday.

The project team provided councillors and the community with an update on the project – which was endorsed a year ago – at the meeting.

The report provided details on the planning, design development and delivery of Stage 2, which included a report on the condition of the renowned ‘Loo with a View’ structure, which has reached the end of its design life.

The ‘Loo with a View’ is set to make way for new amenities, while a replacement seawall is set to be constructed to fortify the popular beach, as part of the tourist hub’s makeover.

It was decided at the meeting that council CEO Emma Thomas will continue to liaise with construction tenderers during the upcoming caretaker period but not sign a contract. She will instead prepare a report for the new council prior to awarding the tender, after the elections are complete.

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After a lengthy debate, an amendment to the officer’s recommendations was added, stating: “Request the chief executive officer to provide a report to the new council prior to awarding the tender for the Mooloolaba Foreshore Revitalisation Project Stage 2 Central Meeting Place and Southern Seawall.”

The motion was carried six votes to five, with councillors Baberowkski, Landsberg, Natoli, Dickson, O’Pray and Law in favour, and Mayor Jamieson and councillors Cox, Johnston, Hungerford and Suarez opposed.

How the foreshore could look at Mooloolaba Beach.

Council issued a media release on Thursday stating that business and community groups were being formed to help locals through the construction phase, and to adjust to the changes.

Stage 2 of Mooloolaba’s four-stage seaside revitalisation includes the Central Meeting Place with flowing viewing decks, picnic areas, expansive landscaping, new public amenities including toilets and beach showers with a Changing Places facility for people with high support needs, and a broad, accessible coastal pathway.

A replacement terraced seawall is expected to protect community infrastructure for  generations, in the face of a changing climate, and offer improved public access and transition between the beach, parklands, amenities and shops.

Council is currently in the construction tender phase and will work with the successful contractor to guide the project’s timing, how it will be constructed and the sequencing.

While the award of a contract for these works can only proceed once the local government caretaker period concludes, the aim is for construction to start in mid-2024.

The existing seawall replacement is funded 50/50 by council and the federal government’s National Emergency Management Agency Disaster Ready Fund, which is contributing $7.95 million.

The existing seawall, which is more than 50 years old. Picture: Steele Taylor.

The Central Meeting Place, which encompasses the Loo with a View and seawall, was part of an extensive community engagement process in 2022 to help guide the next stage of the revitalisation.

Sunshine Coast Council Environment and Liveability Portfolio Councillor Peter Cox said the feedback expressed that the preferred concept, which received more than 75 per cent community support, was open, contemporary and consistent with the green natural landscape most loved in Mooloolaba.

“Council further refined the detailed design in early 2023 following community engagement with a range of groups and representatives as part of the Central Meeting Place project,” Cr Cox said.

“In September 2023, the final Stage 2 design was shared with our community including a great video showing how we refined part of the terraced seawall design and added in more shade trees and seating, which aligned with the community’s feedback of the endorsed concept.

“The video shows how the terraced seawall provides vital coastal protection, connects ‘beach to business’ by reducing physical and visual barriers and enhances access for our community with an all-abilities access ramp for people using wheelchairs, prams or mobility devices.”

The council meeting also discussed the pressing nature of the ageing Loo with a View, which has reached the end of its usable life.

Experts have deemed it unviable to maintain and operate the existing facility long-term which means ongoing checks will be provided to ensure community safety.

Cr Cox said council had appreciated the opportunity to continue discussions and coordinate additional meetings with community groups and representatives.

The long-standing loo with a view original building structure is set to be demolished.

“We have shared further information to help them understand the design, timing and need for the project,” he said.

“Council is in the process of developing two groups, a Mooloolaba Business Activation Group and Mooloolaba Stakeholder Interest Group, which will include community representatives, local businesses and sporting groups.

“The two groups will bring together interested parties to share information, insights and ideas aimed at making the construction phase as smooth as possible for businesses, locals and visitors.

“We look forward to releasing further details about this in the coming weeks.”

The four stages of the Mooloolaba Foreshore Revitalisation Project.

Stage 1 of the Moolooloolaba Foreshore Revitalisation Project, the Northern Parkland, was completed in 2022, while details on future stages, the Central Parkland and Southern Parkland, are yet to be fully revealed.

The renowned and busy car park by Mooloolaba Beach is in line to make way for parkland, as part of Stage 3.

While the process to secure an expert construction contractor continues, council is seeking expressions of interest from individuals who want to be part of the Mooloolaba Business Activation Group or Mooloolaba Stakeholder Interest Group, which will include community representatives, local businesses and sporting members.

The two groups will bring together interested parties to share information, insights and ideas aimed at making the construction phase as smooth as possible for businesses, locals and visitors.

Individuals representing community, businesses and sporting interests are encouraged to view the terms of reference and apply between January 23 and February 13, by visiting the website.

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