Surfing Glass House Mountains

It appears our region will become home to two world-class surfing wave pools.

Sunshine Coast Council has approved the proposal for a wave pool and tourism facility on a current pineapple farm at the end of Johnston Road in Glass House Mountains.

This, along with the approved surfing wave pool as part of the water theme park and tourism and accommodation development on Steve Irwin Way at Glenview, promises to be a major economic boost to local townships and provide much needed employment.

The Johnston Road development is to establish a wave pool and associated amenities, a wellness centre featuring yoga and meditation, paddock-to-plate food and beverage experiences, ocean and marine protection education, learn-to-surf classes and surf coaching. It does not have an accommodation component.

The development is widely supported, with 958 community submissions received by the council, with 955 backing the project.

Not surprisingly, the main objector was the Glenview surf park developer – Sanad Capital – which claimed that this second wave pool was not economically sustainable and that it would adversely impact on its already approved facility.

Council planning assessment staff differed, pointing out that the approved Glenview development had three elements, comprising a resort complex, a water theme park and a surf park.

Council determined that two of these facilities would not be adversely impacted by the new wave pool and the resort complex could be positively impacted.

“More than six years have passed since the Glenview site obtained its first approval and the site remains undeveloped,” council planning staff said in a report to council.

“It is considered that an unexercised approval should not sterilise the ability of other proposals from being assessed on their merits against the planning scheme.”

Council also dismissed other concerns about the potential loss of agriculturally productive lands, impact on the local scenic amenity and noise impacts on surrounding landholders.

However, the council insisted that the development must meet 81 development conditions addressing issues such as building appearance, on-site parking, storm water and effluent management, pool water quality, environmental rehabilitation and noise abatement.

The almost $30 million venture is being driven by an enterprise called Surf Parks Australia, which holds the Australian franchise for the technology that generates the waves, created by a company called American Wave Machines.

The company has patented an air-pressure system to create reliable engineered waves that it claims on its website to mimic “real ocean dynamics”.

To see what Surf Parks Australia will bring to Glass House Mountains, check out their website