Strong progress continues for ‘region-defining’ ecological park

By Sonia Isaacs

STAGE two of a community consultation process by Sunshine Coast Council towards developing a master plan for a proposed 65-acre Hinterland ecological park closed on September 14. Public feedback was invited in response to a number of community engagement activities for the proposed Sunshine Coast Ecological Park, with the release of a draft master plan set for public release in early 2023.

The proposed Sunshine Coast Ecological Park on lands adjoining the Mary Cainrcross Scenic Reserve is earmarked as a key regional project for Sunshine Coast Council and supports an exciting long-term vision to create an ecologically valuable and inspiring space.

Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson said that as part of the transformational change being guided by Council’s Environment and Liveability Strategy, the master planning process was now well underway for the proposed park.

“An ecological park would support nature-based recreation, education, and research, while protecting, celebrating, and restoring the site’s inherent environmental, natural, and cultural heritage values,” said Mayor Mark Jamieson.

Division 5 councillor Winston Johnston said the project would take over 10 years to reach its full realisation, and that it would supplement and augment the attractiveness of the Hinterland.

“This will be a region making project. I feel it will become a major destination point for people across the country that will attract people for generations to come,” he said.

“It is really important to create linkages to wildlife, develop diversity, restore wetlands and create forest areas while introducing different elements of fun, play and opportunities and experiences to learn,” said Cr. Johnston.