Saturday, February 24, 2018

CARA – Caring for Cooroy and District

Newsletter, 20 February 2018

You would all be aware that Cooroy is buzzing with new development and bursting at the seams with shoppers and traffic.

CARA will attempt to keep residents informed of new proposals and continue to lobby the council for appropriate planning. We especially welcome suggestions, and would like to hear from anybody interested in what’s happening and how issues might be solved.

Agenda for 2018
Here is a list of some ongoing topics and proposals needing further investigation:
 Affects on local recycling efforts following China’s decision to restrict the intake of low-value recyclables.
Council’s plan for extra dwellings on existing lots
 Traffic congestion at two major Intersections
 Parking issues
 Speed limits on local roads
 Pedestrian crossings in town
 Installation of the CCTV cameras in rural areas
 Ex quarry site development on Lake MacDonald Drive

Please contact us HERE if you have other suggestions.


President’s Report 2017

CARA is a non-political organisation formed to provide information on issues and development proposals
affecting our community and to give the residents a forum to express their opinions. This year, we took some
pride in marking five years as a group, and we are firm in our desire to remain independent from council or
business interests and to not accept funding from either.

CARA was involved in finding a suitable location for the Before I Die… public art project and attended its
launch on 15 February. Lasting for several months, this project drew widespread attention and was regarded
by Council as a great success.

Last year, Noosa Council defended the Cooroy Broiler Farm appeal that was lodged on 4 January 2016 in the
Planning and Environment Court. A ‘Without Prejudice Conference’ was held at the Maroochydore courthouse
in October 2016. In April of this year, the applicant filed a notice to discontinue the appeal.

CARA asked Peter Wellington and Tony Wellington about changing Cooroy State Forest’s status to National Park.
Tony has been working with the former Environment Minister Miles, and will continue to press for the transfer
post election.

Following the installation of the CCTV cameras in the centre of town, CARA reported the latest Queensland
Police statistics show that crime in the town is at a similar level to what it was 15 years ago, even though the
population has doubled. In other words, crime has been halved. According to Sgt Mal Scott, 70% of local
police work is attending domestic violence complaints.

Noosa Council went against the advice of its planning staff and approved a service station at the Cooroy
industrial area in Holts Road on the old upper mill site. To date no work has commenced on the project.

The Energex and Bowls Club sites, on Cooroy’s eastside, recently changed hands again, and the new ALDI
development proposal is on hold while the new owners, Heritage Motels Investments, a Gympie company,
decide what they will do with the sites.

We continued to take an interest in local recycling efforts and drew attention to the material collected in our
yellow recycling wheelie bins. Noosa Council assured the community that locals should feel confident the
majority of the items from their recycling bin were being recycled.

On 20 November, CARA held a well-attended ‘Meet The Candidates’ event for candidates in the Nicklin
electorate at the Cooroy Sports Hub.

Cooroy is evolving rapidly, the town centre is changing its retail mix and there seems no limit to the places
where you can sit with a cup of coffee. But with change comes issues such as traffic congestion, parking
problems, and loss of amenity. Certainly, the traffic issues remain unsolved and peak-hour congestion is
something residents have to contend with. The 2016 Census showed the population of the Cooroy
hinterland (defined as from West Cooroy north to Kin Kin and east to Tinbeerwah) now at 13,121. This
represents 25% of Noosa Shire’s population.

It is with sadness that we report the passing of committee member Peter Lyle, after a long treatment for cancer.
His wit and wisdom will be greatly missed.

Finally, thanks to our committee members and supporters for their efforts this year. It is more important than
ever that CARA takes an active interest in development applications in 2018. We continue to be well reported
in the local media and I believe we continue to punch above our weight as a community group.

Rod Ritchie
5 December 2017

CARA AGM: 6pm, Tuesday, 5 December 2017, Cooroy Library

All CARA members are cordially invited to attend.

NOTE: membership is now free, and you are considered a member if you have received this email.

• President’s Report
• Presentation of the Association’s Financial Statements and signed statement for the year ended 30th June
2017 to the meeting for adoption
• Election of CARA management committee
• General Business

We have nominations for four of the five management committee positions and would welcome a new person
on the committee.

At the meeting, all positions will be declared vacant, so If you would like to nominate for any position, you can
download a nomination form HERE.

If you would like to vote, but can’t attend the AGM, a proxy form is available HERE.

Please email the forms to us or post them to: The Secretary, CARA, P.O. Box 450 Cooroy 4563 by 30 November.


Newsletter: 10 November 2017

Meet the Candidates Evening
CARA traditionally holds a Meet the Candidates evening for Nicklin Electorate voters who roll up to listen
to candidates and ask them questions. The bar will be open and there will be a sausage sizzle.

Cooroy has reverted to a two-electorate town as per the Noosa News article HERE.

Meet the Nickliin Candidates
6pm, Monday, 20 November 2017
Cooroy Sports Hub
5 Opal St, Cooroy

Energex and Bowls Club sites 
These sites, on Cooroy’s eastside, recently changed hands again, and the new Aldi development proposal is
on hold while the new owners, Heritage Motels Investments, a Gympie company, decide what they will do
with the sites.

Cooroy Farmers and Artisans Market 
The first market, held on 7 October, at Lower Mill Road, was a great success. The plan was to operate on the
first, third and fifth Saturday of each month, from 6am to mid-day. Unfortunately the second market was
cancelled due to poor site conditions. The second market popped up on 4 November.

Hopefully, the organisers will improve site conditions so that stallholders and visitors alike can depend on
there being a regular market.

Newsletter: 10 September 2017


Waste Recycling

Following the recent Four Corners’ investigation into the
recycling industry in New South Wales, many Noosa residents
were interested to learn what happens to their recycled waste.

Here is a breakdown of how the various categories of recycled
materials from the Noosa Shire are processed. This was
provided by Garry Reeve, the Coordinator of Collection
Services at the Material Recovery Facility (MRF) located at
Cooney Road Nambour, where all our recyclables are taken for
primary sorting and ultimate sale to various secondary

The facility which is operated under contract by Visy Recycling, processes the following
recycling streams:

  • Paper & cardboard;
  • Plastic containers;
  • Aluminium cans;
  • Steel cans; and
  • Glass bottles and jars.

Each stream is processed as follows;

  • Paper and cardboard – sorted/baled and sent to a Visy paper mill to be made into cardboard
    which is used locally and exported;
  • Plastic containers – sorted/baled into PET (clear plastic drink bottles etc.) & HDPE (laundry,
    shampoo bottles etc.) and sent to Visy bottle blowing facility for reprocessing into new containers;
  • Aluminium cans – sorted/baled and sold to Aluminium Traders for reprocessing into “can sheet”
    and returned to the beverage can manufacturers;
  • Steel cans – sorted/baled and sold to Steel Traders for reprocessing into “tinplate etc.” and on to
    the Visy Can Factory;
  • Glass bottles & jars – crushed and sold to reprocesses in Australia such as OI Australia
    (new bottles) or Mineral Tec (industrial applications); and
  • Contaminants (non-acceptable items) are sent to landfill.

The recycling contamination rate equates to 5.34% of the tonnes received. This material is sent to landfill.

The Noosa News reported the story HERE.

COUNCIL TENDER: Management services for Cooroy RV Stopover

Council invites Expressions of Interest from commercial
operators or suitable community groups for the management
of the Cooroy RV Stopover at 17 Mary River Road Cooroy.
Council opened the facility in 2015 to cater for self-contained
RV travellers.

Management services for the facility are sought for an initial
period of one year commencing in January 2018 with the
potential for extension subject to Council’s sole discretion.
Tender including submission requirements are available via a
quick link on Council’s website (
All submissions are to be electronically lodged HERE.

Newsletter: 7 July 2017

CARA Turns 5












Five years ago, residents wanting to ensure that people from Cooroy and district had a say in the future of
the town, formed the Cooroy Area Residents Association (CARA). Independent from council or business
interests and funding, the aims were:

To provide for the betterment of Cooroy and its surrounds, with particular focus on the area’s residential
  To facilitate two-way communication with individuals and organisations, including local and other levels
of government.
  To provide a forum for resident discussion on planning and other matters which affect Cooroy and

Rather than take a position on particular development applications, CARA holds information evenings to hear
both sides of an application. And around local or state government election times, we provide a forum for
candidates to present their policies and plans to the community.

Recent concerns include:
Upgrades to the Elm St intersections
Duplication of the rail line to Nambour
Submissions to the New Noosa Plan
Development applications for the CBD
Inappropriate rural development
Police crime statistics for Cooroy

The 2016 Census figures have just been released, with the population of the Cooroy hinterland (defined as
from West Cooroy north to Kin Kin and east to Tinbeerwah) now at 13,121.

This represents 25% of Noosa Shire’s population. 

Current CARA president Rod Ritchie says, “Now, more than ever, development pressures are impacting
on what was once a small town with a big heart. We need to ensure that future growth is sustainable, and that
Cooroy does not come to resemble just another Brisbane suburb”.


Newsletter: 26 February 2017

Submission to the New Noosa Plan

CARA aims to ensure Cooroy and district has a plan for the future and is keen to assist in developing a Masterplan for Cooroy Urban District or Village to guide growth over the next 10–15 years. We recently submitted a preliminary re-designed Inset Plan with items highlighted that have already been under consideration by Council,  and suggesting some ideas for future consultation.

We recognise that any future Masterplan needs to be flexible and the entry of ideas into the plan and how the detail is expressed would need to be addressed. The overall intent would be to create a planned township having an appropriate mix of business services recreation and natural environment with enhanced amenity especially pedestrian and vehicular access while maintaining the Cooroy Township appeal.

The Inset Plan can be accessed HERE.

Cooroy Memorial Hall Committee Formed

After a year of effort by a passionate group of Cooroy residents, Cooroy’s iconic hall looks like having a bright future. Council has taken over as trustee from the RSL Board and has secured insurance for the building. 

The Cooroy Memorial Hall Association has recently been formed, voted in a nine-person management committee, and has achieved incorporation status. Council has asked the committee to draw up a business plan which includes potential hall usage and income, and to come up with a financial plan plan for restoration. Council will offer dollar-for-dollar funding for an approved restoration plan.

CCTV Rollout Continues

CARA continues to take an interest in the Cooroy Chamber of Commerce CCTV project, and have received assurances from Sgt Mal Scott that footage will only be used when an incident happens, and not monitored on a daily basis. CARA believes that the cameras should act as a deterrent to crimes in the CBD. However, there are nearly six times as many residential break-ins in Cooroy, and local residents need to remain vigilant, and be sure to lock up well.

Read the Noosa News report HERE.

Peter Wellington Retires From Parliament

Long-serving local member for Nicklin, Peter Wellington, will resign from politics at the end of his current term to spend more time caring for his elderly parents. Peter recently made submissions to the state minister responsible for main roads on the congested Elm Street overpass intersection.

We wish Peter and Jenny well on what is certain to be an interesting new change in direction. Peter has promised to keep representing his constituents until the next state election.

Proposed new electoral boundaries released
The Queensland State Electoral Commission recently released new state electoral boundary maps that show that nearly all of Cooroy has been included in Nicklin. Previously the east side of town was part of the Noosa electorate. Now, the main exclusions are Forest Acres, East Lake MacDonald, and Cooroy Mountain which have moved to Noosa, and Pomona, Cooroan and Federal have moved to Nicklin.

The new boundary map can be found HERE.

New Service Station Approved

Noosa Council has gone against the advice of its planning staff and approved a service station at the Cooroy industrial area in Holts Road on the old upper mill site. Stringent stormwater conditions and 90 other conditions were applied, and a tourist kiosk added.

According to Cr Jurisevic, the addition of a service station would increase pricing competition and offer a 24-hour fuel option, as well as providing much needed rest room facilities for long-haul truck drivers.

Town Intersections

Cr Ingrid Jackson recently carried out investigations for CARA on the two busy intersections in town, and has reported on her meeting with Council’s Transport and Travel Technical Officer, Scott Morgan.

Cr Jackson Reports
I learned that negotiations continue with the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) in relation to the Elm Street/Myall Street and Elm Street/Diamond Street intersections and the related bridges for cars and pedestrians.

• Noosa Council has carried out traffic studies (using electronic counters) and provided these to TMR.
• Noosa Council has done indicative intersection drawings and given those to TMR.
• TMR has prepared two concept designs for the Elm Street/Diamond Street intersection – one with a roundabout and one with traffic lights.
• The cost of a roundabout is much higher than traffic lights.
• Noosa Council is encouraging TMR to focus on both intersections at the same time, as well as the bridges, as the issues are interrelated.
• At this stage TMR looks to intend to budget for one intersection design in 2017/18, but so far there is no indication of when construction is to be budgeted for.

The pros and cons of roundabouts:
Noosa style
Free flowing traffic at all times
Does not cater well for pedestrians and cyclists

The pros and cons of traffic lights:
Not Noosa style
Stop/start traffic may cause backing up
Caters better for pedestrians and bicyclists

CARA intends to write to the Director General of the Department of Roads and Transport and the relevant ministers to encourage the addressing of these issues in a timely fashion.

Before I Die… Wall Launched

CARA was involved in finding a suitable location for the Before I Die… public art project and attended its launch on 15 February. This wall is the latest of around 2000 worldwide, in over 35 languages, and 70 countries, and is aimed at chronicling the community’s aspirations, anxieties, joys and struggles.

Organised by Noosa Council’s Literary and Learning Coordinator, Tracy King, and ably launched by Cr Jess Glasgow, the launch was attended by four NDHS students who were among the first to write their wishes on the wall.

The wall will be photographed and then wiped clean each week to ensure everyone gets a chance to have their say. Tina Mayfield and the Board of Club Cooroy are to be thanked for allowing this exciting project to occupy the prominent wall at the intersection of Maple and Emerald Streets.

Australian Body Art Festival 8–9 April 2017

Cooroy Chamber of Commerce have enlisted the event management and marketing expertise of Danielle Taylor and the Firefly Solutions team run this annual festival. Previously held in Eumundi, this eclectic and colourful event draws competitors and spectators from far and wide and is Australia’s premier body art festival. 

Despite great support from sponsors, funds are still being sought to help with costs for this free event, so you if you’d like to make a crowdfunding donation, or would like to volunteer as a helper, then click HERE

Former Energex Site Changes Hands

A local company has purchased the former Energex site in Diamond Street. Subject to Council’s New Noosa Plan, the site and surrounding blocks represent an opportunity for the township of Cooroy to consolidate its east side shopping precinct into one that includes a boutique shopping village with a major food chain as an anchor tenant. 

REPORT: Cooroy Crime Figures in Perspective

Monday,  30 January 2017 

Despite the recent Cooroy break-ins, the latest Queensland Police statistics show that crime in the town is at a similar level to what it was 15 years ago, even though the population has doubled. In other words, crime has been halved.

Read the Noosa News article HERE.

This shows the effectiveness of the local police headed by Sgt Mal Scott. Everyone in Cooroy wishes Mal a speedy recovery from the recent Mitre 10 break-in incident.

Cameras here are from another town

In 2016, Cooroy Chamber of Commerce received a federal government grant of $200,000 to install CCTV cameras in the town’s business districts. The roll-out is nearly complete and the system will be maintained by CCoC. The cameras will act as a deterrent and help solve crime that occurs in the CBD. Sgt Scott explained that footage will only be used when an incident happens, and is not a monitor of daily life in Cooroy.

Queensland Police statistics for Cooroy

Queensland Police statistics show that, in the past five years, there were 24 instances of Unlawful Entry With Intent – Shop, compared to 138 instances of Unlawful Entry With Intent – Dwelling. In other words, home burglaries are nearly six times more prevalent than shop break-ins.

The leading category of local crime is Drug-Related Offences, followed by Traffic Related Offences.

Top Criminal Offences in Cooroy from 2011 to 2015

Drug Related Offences     438
Traffic Related Offences  277
Unlawful Entry  – Dwellings 138
Breach of Good Order  102
Breach Domestic Violence Protection Order  84
Assaults   74
Fraud  51
Weapons Offences   27
Unlawful Entry With Intent – Shop 24

Total Crime in Cooroy from 2011 to 2015
Hover your mouse over the bars on the chart chart below to see the total Cooroy crime statistics for individual years.


REPORT: Cooroy Chamber of Commerce Dinner With the Mayor


Tuesday  23 August 

Transcript of Mayor Cr Tony Wellington’s talk

TonyW2The focus of my talk tonight is on the hinterland and Cooroy in particular.

I was chatting with Catherine Money from the Cooroy Butter Factory a couple of weeks ago, and she was telling me how well the Gallery venue was going, and also how well the community control model was working.

Catherine said she had noticed a marked increase in visitors to the Butter Factory since the sealing of Dr Pages Rd and the promotion of the Tourism Noosa Country Drive.

Just the day before this conversation between Catherine and myself, Council had officially opened the new sealed section of the hinterland loop road – Dr Pages Rd and part of Kinmond Creek Rd. Staff told me that vehicle traffic along the road had increased immediately it was finished by more than 100 cars per day.

I am informed that properties are selling faster in Kin Kin than they were before the roadworks, and also that land prices in Kin Kin have increased.

It’s a salient reminder of how a relatively small – though not in this case inexpensive – action by Council can have significant implications for residents and businesses.

So let’s now focus on Cooroy. In some ways it seems that Cooroy is becoming what the Americans refer to as a “boom town”? A friend who had been working in shops in Hastings Street for a few years recently began work as a shop assistant here in Cooroy. She said the foot traffic through the Cooroy shop is busier, on average, than was the case in the Hastings Street establishments she had worked in. Her term for Cooroy was that it’s “buzzing”.

In the last state property valuations carried out by the Valuer General, Cooroy properties went up by much more than any other locale in the Shire – by 16% in fact. But although Cooroy went up much more than say, Pomona at 7% or Tinbeerwah at 5%, almost every ratepayer was below the general rates threshold and thus only copped the across the board 1.9% rate rise (equivalent to the LGAQ Cost Index and the second lowest rate rise in SEQ).

And while we’re making comparisons between Cooroy and Hastings St, there’s a topic that I would like to tackle head-on. There has long been this artificial divide between the Noosa hinterland and what I call the “flatlanders” i.e. the coastal dwellers. I say “artificial” because it is inevitably based on the erroneous assumption that Council is only interested in the coastal areas and tourists, and is thus disinterested in the rural hinterland.

DrPagesRdOften the words “Hastings Street” are spoken – or written on the letters page – with some degree of bitterness.

So let’s do a little reality check.

For a start, Hastings Street gets the attention it does because the businesses actually pay for it. That is, there are numerous levies over and above the normal rates payments. Thus Hastings Street property owners pay directly for the beach sand replenishment, for the fairy lights, for the extra street cleaning etc through those levies. Council imposes these levies so that other ratepayers don’t have to foot the bill.

The other point worth making about Hastings St is that the rates Council receives from this small precinct actually subsidise the rest of the Shire. Hastings St property values are very high, and so that itsy bitsy street actually raises 3.6% off all rates revenue in Noosa Shire.

Now let’s go to the comparison of rural versus urban localities. I have regularly heard people in rural areas complain that they don’t get enough attention or services from Council. The truth is that it costs a lot more for Council to service rural and semi-rural areas than it does to service urban areas.

The hinterland accounts for 65% of the total road network across the Shire, but it has just 27% of the Shire’s properties, including in the towns.

In terms of overall spend, if I simply add together some of the costs of facilities in the hinterland, like the Cooroy Butter Factory and Library, the parks and road maintenance etc, then the spend up here is well over $15 million (and that’s only selecting some costs), whereas rates revenue from the entire hinterland is under $10 million.

Cooroy is a fantastic town. It is also well served with Council owned community land and facilities. There is the:

  • world class library,
  • aforementioned Butter Factory,
  • Badminton building,
  • Community garden,
  • Various sports fields and associated buildings,
  • Pony club,
  • Woodies two buildings,
  • Camphor Laurel Group building,
  • Boiler House on the Lower Mill site,
  • Green space in front of the library,
  • Block in Emerald St where the Genies are building a new home, and
  • Apex park and facilities.

industrial land in Johnsons Court being used by the Woodies and Camphor Laurel group

and the Car Club land which is now partially used as an RV stopover.

If it came down to Council facilities on a per capita basis, Cooroy would win hands down.

By the way, use of the RV stopover is increasing. Between 22 July and 22 August it was used for a total of 219 nights and 451 persons.

So enough exploding myths, what does Council have in store for Cooroy?

We are experiencing a few staff changes in our infrastructure design department at present.

But in the fourth quarter of this financial year, sometime around April, we should be looking at traffic and pedestrian movement in Cooroy, focussing on angled parking (how to make it work better and more safely) and pedestrian crossings. The Chamber and the community will get a chance to have their say on these matters.

When we have finished our current master planning of the Gympie Terrace foreshore, property staff will move to consider Council’s land holdings in Cooroy and what their future might be. This includes industrial land as well as Lot 5, plus our land holding at the end of Jarrah St and Carpenters Rd.

The new planning scheme
As many of you would know, we are currently developing a new planning scheme for the Shire. The first stage of the community consultation process seeks input regarding the big picture. What do you love about your shire or your town? Where would you like to see your locality in ten year’s time? Should Cooroy continue to develop as a creative arts centre?

What do you envisage for the south side of town? The old Energex site on Diamond Street is up for sale. What would happen if there was more retail and commercial development on that side of town?

Believe me, Cooroy is constantly in our minds, and I look forward to your input into the development of the new planning scheme. I repeat that this first stage is about big picture ideas. The whole process will take around 3 years to complete and you will have an opportunity to drill down to the individual property level at the later consultation process.

On-going issues in and around Cooroy
Let’s begin with the dreadful Elm Street and Myall Street intersection. Council’s traffic consultants have noted that it is way over capacity and arguably the worst intersection in the Shire. But of course Council doesn’t own or control those roads. They are State controlled. But we are putting the thumb screws on DTMR and the State.

Council staff have drawn up rough design plans to show that a roundabout is feasible. Those have been provided to DTMR. I have held discussions with both Peter Wellington and senior DTMR bureaucrats reinforcing our desire to see the intersection improved. Just yesterday, Peter Wellington requested some more information from me ahead of a meeting he is having in Brisbane next week.

I believe the intersection is on DTMR’s works register. That is a huge step forward. But it remains to be seen when it is fully funded.

Council staff have also provided designs to DTMR to improve the Diamond Street and Elm Street intersection.

As you may know, the current round of Council meetings approved a new boutique supermarket to go into the old Wimmers’ factory site between Garnet St and the lane. That should be another good boost for the town.

Memorial Hall update

hall-SMALLI am going to finish by tackling the Cooroy Memorial Hall issue. I am acutely aware that the closure of the Memorial Hall has become a matter of significant angst in the local community. I am also aware that this is having a deleterious impact on the cohesiveness of the community. We would all like to see the issue resolved.

The Hall is currently under the trusteeship of the RSL. However this is not a simple matter.

Part of the problem is the land tenure. Most of the Hall and half of the RSL building are on State owned land under a DOGIT (Deed of Grant in Trust) for “Recreational and Memorial Hall Purposes”. The other small part of the Hall and the remaining half of the RSL building are on Council freehold land which Council currently leases to the RSL

The DOGIT land is administered by the State Government through DNRM – Department of Natural Resources and Mines.

If the RSL wish to relinquish their trusteeship of the DOGIT, then there has to be a change in the tenure of that land to accommodate the building encroachments.

There are various possible computations regarding the land – some involving removing the DOGIT, some swapping bits of the DOGIT, and some further subdividing the DOGIT.

Council has been in negotiations with DNRM about a land swap to solve the building encroachments. These have dragged on in part because the bureaucrat in charge at their Nambour Office has been away on long-term sick leave. However Council officers met with the Regional Manager yesterday and some progress was made.

In the meantime, the RSL remains trustee. And while they have closed the Hall for safety reasons they are not entirely certain what they wish to do with the Hall. Their options include upgrading the Hall themselves and using it for functions, leasing to a community group, or relinquishing the trusteeship.

I appreciate that many people see Council as the potential saviour here, riding in on our white horse and simply taking over the Hall. But the land issue needs to be resolved. We are not about to spend ratepayer money on a building that is not on land under our control.

But is that the best solution anyway, having the Council take it over? Ideally, the Hall would be managed by the RSL or the community, just as we have seen the community successfully run the Butter Factory– just as other Halls and Community Centres are run by community organisations.

Council also needs to consider if we were to repair the Hall so it was safe and able to be rented, how would we pay for that? And how would we pay for the ongoing maintenance etcetera?

Maybe the people of Cooroy would be happy to have a small rate increase to pay for the Hall, but would the people of Peregian or Tewantin be happy with it? Should there be a special levy on Cooroy folk? Or is there another way to fund it?

The thing is, every time Council builds or takes on a new asset, it has to be maintained and depreciated.

Now it may be that Council will help out with the Cooroy Memorial Hall, if the land issues can be resolved and if there are residents willing to run it. That may well be the final outcome. But we need to consider carefully how this might work.

There are no simple answers to these questions. Council recognises that the Hall has both historical and sentimental value to locals. We also recognise it is a much-loved asset. But as I said, the RSL’s position is not entirely clear, just as Council’s position is a work in progress.

Meanwhile, Council staff will continue to try and broker a solution with DNRM, the RSL and the community and a meeting is being held in early September with a wide range of representatives – including State representatives – to try and find a way forward.


TOWN MEETING: New Councillor Q&A

Tuesday  28 June meeting report

CARA’s town meeting to welcome the three new councillors to Cooroy on Tuesday night was an opportunity for residents to explain to Crs Jackson, Glasgow and Stockwell the issues that concern them. The reopening of the Cooroy Hall was at the top of the list, while farm gate sales, flood mitigation, the new town plan and local roads and traffic issues all featured. Each councillor had the opportunity to talk about their ideas for reviving the hinterland’s economy and to assure attendees that Cooroy and district was not forgotten

Cooroy benefits from Noosa Council Budget 2016-2017
• The historic Boiler House will receive essential repair and safety works, hopefully allowing the site to once again open to the public.
• Plans will be developed for an iconic playground in Cooroy.
• The Heritage Levy has been increased from $5 to $10 to support the implementation of the Heritage Plan
• A Six Mile Creek flood study will provide Council with a better understanding of flooding across the catchment, from Cooroy to Pomona and Cooran. It will also investigate flood concerns in the Lake Macdonald area.
• Hinterland roads will share in more than $400,000 worth of gravel road re-sheeting.
• Council is currently finishing an assessment of our sealed road network to highlight where there are roads requiring attention. If rural sealed roads require immediate attention, there are capital reserves available for this purpose.

Cooroy Memorial Hall update

hall-SMALLThe recently-formed hall steering committee met with council staff on December 18 to share positions and objectives. The RSL remains responsible for the hall as it takes steps to divest itself and find a new trustee. While Council wishes to play an active part in the ultimate outcome, it appears that it may not become the hall trustee. The hall steering committee may hold a facilitated workshop in February to establish a management committee, work out how to re-open the hall, and plan its future.

Lake Macdonald Tomato Farm appeal

tomatoaerialAn unapproved tomato and cucumber growing facility near Lake Macdonald has been subject to residents’ complaints since it was first constructed in 2013. Generator noise, sediment and erosion control and the safety of Lake Macdonald Drive were issues, but the facility came under increased scrutiny early in 2015, when floodwaters associated with Cyclone Marcia caused debris from the tomato plants, growing media and plastic being washed into the nearby waterway.

Council planning staff retrospectively assessed the operation and recommended in November last year that the farm be allowed to go ahead, subject to a list of conditions including: the raising of the plants off the ground on racks; a nominated flood warden to be on site at all times during operation hours, and a “flood refuge area” that can handle “an extreme flood event”.

In backing the decision and voting to accept the planner’s, report Cr Wellington said: “It would be nice if people simply started the process of applying for approval when they were supposed to start”, rather than council having to “continually push them”. Cr Jurisevic was also “disappointed that due process did not occur in the first place”.

In early December last year, the applicant filed a Notice of Appeal in the Planning and Environment Court challenging 12 of the conditions proposed by council planners.

Community joins Cooroy broiler farm farm appeal

This week, three Noosa Shire residents joined with the Noosa Council as co-respondents in the Planning and Environment Court appeal against the council’s decision to refuse the Cooroy broiler farm development application. This important step enables the community to participate in the hearings and to present original evidence in support of Council’s case.

CARA President’s Report 2015

737488-cooroy-mountainThe Cooroy Area Residents’ Association (CARA) is a non-political organisation formed to provide information on issues and development proposals affecting our community and to give the residents a forum to express their opinions to the planning authorities.

The past 12 months has seen several development applications in our area considered by the Noosa Council, notably the Cooroy Highway Service Centre and the Cooroy Broiler Farm, both of which were refused by Council. The applicant for the Service Centre lodged an appeal in the Planning and Environment Court on 28 August but there’s been no hearings to date.

After the horrific accident at the intersection of Swift Road and Lake Macdonald Drive, CARA decided to host a public meeting on road and traffic issues such as speed limits, parking issues, pedestrian crossings, the Elm Street Bridge congestion, cycle lanes, signage, traffic calming, noise issues, and accident procedures.

CARA asked the Noosa Council and State member Peter Wellington for assistance with the Elm Street bridge congestion. Peter replied that the state has a policy of fixing problems that cause the most fatalities. However, Council has employed traffic consultants who conducted research on the Elm Street Bridge and Elm Street – Cooroy-Tewantin Road intersections, which showed that these are both dangerous. Council is hoping that this research will help when presenting a case to the state government for funding new intersection arrangements.

Revising the Noosa Plan
After council elections next year, the new Noosa Council will embark on the huge task of rewriting the Noosa Plan. To gather ideas on changes that would benefit the Cooroy area, CARA hosted a Cooroy planning breakfast (Cooroy: Where To Now?) at the Bowls Club, which was attended by about 50 people and emceed very capably by Richard Hansen of Inspiring Cooroy.

Councillors and representatives of the Cooroy Chamber of Commerce spoke, and attendees presented many excellent ideas on planning Cooroy’s future. A website ( was set up by CARA for interested persons to post and discuss ideas on planning changes to council. Next year, we may hold workshops to finalise any recommendations for changes/improvements to the town plan.

Future CARA information nights: Meet the Candidates (mid Feb 2016) and an EDV debate.

Other 2015 items of interest:

  1. April: The custodian of the Butter Factory is now the Lower Mill Board, which has received and extra $80,000 to firm up their proposal.
  2. June: A six-month trial of an RV park at the campground opposite the tennis courts – 4 consecutive nights stay limit. Council to construct a dump point.
  3. Formation of the Noosa Community Biosphere Association – membership is free, so go online and join at
  4. The Cooroy Palm Lakes over 50’s retirement village started construction in October.
  5. Closing of the Cooroy Memorial Hall, possible CARA involvement on the steering committee. Support for NCBA’s proposal to apply for and manage a grant to restore the Hall.

2015 has been an interesting year for the residents of the Cooroy area and 2016 looks like having plenty of issues to bring before residents.

Office Bearers for 2016
President: Rod Ritchie
Secretary: julia Walkden
Treasurer: Clytie Glass
Committee member: Alan Hodgkinson
Committee member: Helen McGregor
Committee member: Peter Lyle

Special note:
We’d like to thank Dennis Pitman, our inaugural Treasurer, for his years of dedicated service to CARA. While Dennis is stepping aside from an executive role, he remains a valuable supporter and member.

Elm Street intersection update

Elm Street intersection approached from Maple Street

Elm Street intersection approached from Maple Street

Our local member, Peter Wellington, has made representations on our behalf to the District Director of Department of Transport and Main Roads about the Elm Street, Myall Street intersection. Here is their reply:

Thank you for your further query regarding congestion at Cooroy intersections, particularly east of the railway line at Myall and Elm streets.

TMR acknowledges that congestion is experienced during peak periods in the Cooroy town centre and motorists experience some delays at Myall and Elm streets and Diamond and Elm streets intersections. TMR receives many requests for improvement works at intersections and allocates funding for these improvements on a priority basis. Priorities are determined by considering site-specific parameters that primarily include crash history, but may also include other factors such as traffic volumes, geometry and visibility. A review of TMR’s crash database shows these intersections both have low crash histories and are not considered a high priority for funding as there are other intersections across the state and within North Coast District demonstrating a greater need.

 As you are aware, TMR is working closely with Noosa Council to consider future east-west connections between coastal areas and towns such as Cooroy in the Northern part of the Sunshine Coast. While these investigations take a regional approach, localised issues are also being considered as part of the future transport requirements for the area. The investigations are in a preliminary phase and the link between, and including these two intersections, has been highlighted as a priority area for consideration. 

I can advise that Noosa Council is developing options for possible improvements to the intersections for TMR to review. TMR will continue to work alongside council to progress these options.

 Once the strategy is finalised, further investigation will be required to determine the best solutions for the area, taking into account forecast transport requirements.  TMR will then consider funding for any improvements during future reviews of the program.

 TMR will continue to monitor performance of these intersections and continue routine maintenance in the area.

Cooroy Community Workshop From May 1998

At the time when local timber resources were running out and the state government was instituting its SE Forests Agreement, a community workshop was conducted at the Cooroy RSL in May 1998. You can read a report on this meeting HERE, to see how there are many  topics mentioned then that are similar to current concerns.

Meeting starts the process







Around 50 people gathered for the working breakfast at The Hub on 25 March to pool their collective brainstorming talent to come up with ideas on how Cooroy may develop in the years to come, as it copes with the challenges of inevitable growth. Councillors Bolton and Pardon were helpful participants.

MC Richard Hansen capably kept the ideas flowing. These included a general desire to see the town retain its country atmosphere, Lake McDonald development plans, affordable housing, mixed housing zoning, a ring-road around Cooroy, improved Internet speed, an extra toilet block in town, an industrial area with access to the highway, a second retirement village, expansion of Rural Living zoning, clear zoning guidelines for intensive farming proposals, a disaster muster centre, and appropriate zoning for Black Mountain transfer station.

As well, support for local tourism operators, the establishment of a Cooroy farmer’s market, national park status for West Cooroy State Forest, an off-leash area for dogs, and better playground facilities were proposed.

CooryBowls2A Broad masterplan for Cooroy needs to be made with the roles of the state and local government in mind. The Elm Street bridge was identified as a major issue, and given that this is a state responsibility, it appears that only extensive traffic holdups or more accidents will push the crossing up the state priority lists. And an improved pedestrian crossing for rail lines also needs state assistance if it is to become a reality.

To the argument that Cooroy is a town divided, it was countered that the town could be recognised for its precincts, and these need to be recognised, strengthened and promoted. If there was a consensus, it was that the town of the future needs to be resident and family friendly, have a vibrant commercial and retail centre, encourage more alfresco dining, institute traffic calming measures, and ensure a sound economic base that includes environmental sustainability.

The future
We plan to put up a web site that will list all the ideas, call for more suggestions, and allow comments from all those who can’t get to meetings, but who still would like a say in the town’s future. Later in the year, CARA and the Cooroy Chamber of Commerce will likely co-host a forum that scrutinise all the best and most viable options, and put together a submission for Noosa Council as it prepares for its new Noosa Plan in 2016.

And now that our local state member, Peter Wellington, is in a strong position to help us with our aims, we plan to meet with him once we have a clear idea of how best he could assist us.

Cooroy: where to now?

Cooroy2A breakfast meeting of professionals, business owners, community representatives, and others interested in how Cooroy may develop in the years to come.

The idea is to set the agenda for a major planning workshop hosted in conjunction with interested community groups later in the year. This event will collate planning suggestions for the future of Cooroy, and present them to Noosa Council for consideration as they prepare the new Noosa Plan in 2016.

The Hub
5 Opal St
7am, Wednesday, 25 March 2015
Cost: $15 for breakfast (pay on the day)
Meeting only 7:30am: Free
RSVP :   23 March
Please indicate whether you’d like to include the breakfast.

The breakfast event is not about long speeches, it’s more of a get together for brainstorming and coming up with practical ideas which will be collated and put up for discussion in the future. 

Meeting moderator: Richard Hansen

Possible topics:
• Cooroy: a town divided          • The Elm St Bridge
• Parking problems                    • Housing growth areas
• Light industrial growth areas      • Flood mitigation
• Tourism        • Rural subdivision         • Your topic

To facilitate further discussion, we’ll publish a website dedicated to the Planning Cooroy Forum where all the material can be posted and where debate and further discussion can take place.

Review of Cooroy Butter Factory appraisal process

On 9 March, Noosa Council CEO Brett de Chastel asked council’s executive manager to investigate allegations by Bruce Creswell that there may have been conflict of interest by having council consultants d-sipher prepare a report for the review process and then help two of the favoured concepts make up their submissions. The report was received on 12 March at the monthly ordinary meeting of Council and the allegation was dismissed. Councillors voted to support the Lower Mill Board’s (LMB) submission, but tempered this decision by the withdrawal of a planned offer of $80,000 to the LMB to allow them to meet start-up expenses and employ suitably qualified staff to support the operations of the new Butter Factory model. They now have to negotiate a funding package and resubmit this to Council along with a business plan.

This will put the iconic building’s future on hold for now, and CARA will request the opportunity to host a town meeting to discuss the LMB’s final concept.

Where to for the Cooroy Butter Factory?


November 25 Meeting
At the meeting 25 November in the Butter Factory council staff gave a presentation on five favoured proposals from the list of submissions which can be found HERE.

LEAD CONCEPTS Model style:
1. U3A Cooroy sub-branch (U3A Noosa) proposal
Establish a sub-branch of U3A Noosa within the Butter Factory, offering classes and activities.
It could incorporate existing Butter Factory activities and extend to other groups.

2.Community managed
For example this could be the Lower Mill Board managing on behalf of the community.

3.Council managed
This would basically maintain the status quo.

4. Interpretation centre, (Bruce Cresswell, Jeanette Alfredson)
Create an interpretation centre using the historic Cooroy Butter Factory sitting at the geographical centre of the Noosa community biosphere. It would extend the existing arts components by adding new segments of nature, indigenous and heritage tourism.

Centre for ceramic excellence (Rowley Drysdale)
5. To establish a local, national and internationally acclaimed Cooroy Butter Factory Centre for Ceramic Excellence which would incorporate exhibitions, retail sales, workshops and accredited classes.

CooroySignWhy not join us?
CARA exists to provide a forum for community information and discussion on matters affecting the residents of Cooroy and district.

A Queensland Health Report found that, “People who actively participate in their community and have strong and supportive family, cultural and community relationships have better health than people who are socially isolated.”

So join CARA now and become an active member of your community.