Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says more community consultation is needed on the proposed surf ranch and residential development at Coolum West. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says more community consultation is needed on the proposed surf ranch and residential development at Coolum West. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled

Premier not making waves on controversial surf ranch

The Queensland Premier on Friday could not make a call if an application for a $1.2 billion surf ranch and residential development should be approved.

World Surf League wants to build a Surf Ranch at Coolum West, using the Kelly Slater Wave System technology, along with 1500 residential properties, an eco-resort and other facilities.

The Queensland Government is yet to make a decision on an application for the 510ha site to be a Priority Development Area.

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Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said more community consultation needed to be done.

"There hasn't been a lot of new tourism infrastructure for some time on the Sunshine Coast," she said.

"Of course I think everybody would like to see a surf ranch built, however there are a number of issues that have to be addressed, as part of any development with that surf ranch.

"My understanding is that consultation is still happening between the proponent and the community.

"It does mean a lot of jobs, there's that aspect of it, but there does have to be a lot of other community consultation."

The man behind the push for a $1.1 billion Surf Ranch at Coolum, Andrew Stark. Photo: Patrick Woods
The man behind the push for a $1.1 billion Surf Ranch at Coolum, Andrew Stark. Photo: Patrick Woods

Several environmental concerns have been raised about the project, including that it would lead to the development of a flood plain and part of the site also falls in the Blue Heart designation area within the Coast's Maroochy River Catchment.

World Surf League and co-applicant Queensland developer Consolidated Properties Group have said it would not go ahead if flood risks could not be mitigated.

Andrew Stark, World Surf League general manager, said the company first discussed the project with the government 18 months ago.

He said the application, and other documentation was given late last year.

"We remain hopeful the government will see it's a good, worthy project with the Sunshine Coast," he said.

He said to date, the organisation consulted with more than 100 community groups and last year conducted a survey of residents.

He said if the application was approved, further consultation would need to be undertaken for further government approvals, including community meetings.

Several flood studies have been completed and Mr Stark said they were confident with the help of experts, they could mitigate flooding risks.

Mr Stark said former cane land would be developed, and 75 per cent of the site would be public open space.



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