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Key infrastructure projects could benefit from 'city deal' funding boost

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A handful of Sunshine Coast infrastructure projects have been shortlisted for significant funding, as part of an arrangement between levels of government in the state’s south-east.

Three Sunshine Coast Council initiatives and two Noosa Council schemes are among the projects that could benefit from the South-East Queensland Liveability Fund, which was established by the federal government, state government and the SEQ Council of Mayors, under the SEQ City Deal.

The Sunshine Coast projects are the Mooloolaba Foreshore Central Parkland; construction of coastal pathways at Alexandra Headland and Kings Beach; and new cycling and walking infrastructure at Caloundra and Mooloolaba. In Noosa they are an extension to the existing sports facilities at the Cooroy Sports Complex; and the installation of coastal pathway wayfinding signage between Peregian Beach and Noosa Junction.

The controversial Central Parkland plans include replacing the Beach Terrace car park with green space.

Eleven eligible local governments were invited to submit expressions of interest as part of the initial assessment phase for funding, to deliver projects that will help build healthier, more liveable and more inclusive, connected communities.

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A list of 24 eligible projects was finalised and local governments have now been invited to submit a detailed application for them. A final decision on funding will be made after assessment of detailed applications this year.

Queensland Minister for State Development and Infrastructure Grace Grace said the fund would bolster communities.

Some of the already completed coastal pathway at Kawana.

“South-East Queensland is booming and playing host to some of the world’s biggest events … the SEQ Liveability Fund will give local councils the opportunity to create better places to live through access to more open spaces, infrastructure that complements new housing or projects that support health and wellbeing,” she said via a media release.

Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson welcomed the funding opportunity.

“Our three submissions will now progress to the detailed application stage, moving us a step closer to delivering these projects for our community,” he said.

“They include spectacular coastal pathways, foreshore improvements and new cycling and walking infrastructure, which will be enjoyed by locals and visitors and provide a boost for our businesses.

“They will also make the Sunshine Coast even more attractive and enjoyable for those coming to our shores and well before the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

Noosa Mayor Clare Stewart.

Noosa Mayor Clare Stewart said it was “exciting” to move into the next phase of the submission process.

“Enhancing our shire’s liveability is key part of council’s new Corporate Plan 2023-2028 and the SEQ Liveability Fund demonstrates what can be achieved when all levels of government work together,” she said.

“The latest outcome once again demonstrates the tangible benefit to our community of being a part of the SEQ Council of Mayors and how it is creating opportunities for the health and wellbeing of our community.”

Local governments in the SEQ City Deal have funding allocated to them on a pro-rata population rate determined when the deal was signed in 2023. Local government allocations range from $1.7 million up to $120.8 million.

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

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