Quick Snips November 2013

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Two months of sunshine is a wonderful tonic for a place that has had a tough time economically for the last couple of years. There are a lot of much happier accommodation managers and shop owners around the coast than there were only back in July. But it has been a cracker of a time with not even a glimmer of a decent surf to scare off visiting beach goers. It definitely seems that all we need is sunshine to bring everyone out. By all reports bookings for holiday accommodation have picked up strongly from a fairly low base and the next couple of months are starting to look very solid as we start heading into our peak season.
It’s been so nice around here that even the whale parade heading back down south has hung around later than usual this year. There have been an exceptional number of whale sightings right through the month of October and it hasn’t been unusual to see two or three different pods at a time playing not far behind the closest breaking waves. The numbers of whales passing through increase every year and becomes mesmerizing if you can catch them in a good mood.
The election for the new Noosa Council will be held November 9. Once that has been decided the new councils for the Sunshine Coast and Noosa will commence operation from January 1 2014. It was announced during the month that 425 staff would transfer to the new Noosa Council.
There were a couple of announcements during the month that have raised the shackles of locals probably a bit more than the announcements actually deserve.
SEKSUI HOUSE are the Japanese owners of the majority of the land on the beachside of the David Low Way across from PALMERSAURUSLAND. Their development efforts with the property so far have been less than successful to be very kind. Yet they have a very large parcel of land still to go. Whilst no formal applications have been made or plans submitted, there have been discussions with the Council and State Government about the possibility of increasing the density of the future development to include up to 2300 apartments, 300 stand alone villas, and a 450 room 12 storey hotel. Suggestions have also included the possibility of a casino to be included (there seems to be that suggestion of a casino with just about every big development proposal as if this is the only reason anyone ever leaves their house). Whilst we have a very pro development Council and State government, the likelihood of anything approaching the levels espoused would be slim at best particularly with a very strong guaranteed local objection and not even considering that PALMERSAURUSLAND wants to do something even bigger right next to it. There would be now way that any government could go so far outside it’s planning guidelines to give one property owner an approval without opening itself up to having to offer the neighbouring property owner similar rights. It would also be hard to slip something through (as has happened on historical occasion) particularly when the neighbouring property owner has the balance of power in the Federal Senate and is the local Federal Member of Parliament. I think we will be watching this space for a longtime before anything happens.
The State Government has offered to amend three parcels of land surrounding the airport from leasehold to freehold. Anyone that has had even a passing interest in the airport master plan will know that of all the issues confronting the plan to develop the new runway, the issue of finding $400,000,000 is probably the biggest hurdle. By giving the council freehold title to the land, potential investors or financiers will be able to be offered far more valuable security than if the property was leased to the State Government. This is a big step forward for the whole process as the council explores possible ownership and funding possibilities over the next twelve months. Right now the Environmental Impact Study is still being undertaken and is due to be presented for public discussion by May 2014. It is still one step at a time but at this time we are still stepping in a forward direction.
Between Christmas parties and end of school functions it won’t be long before we hit peak summer time. The three biggies that I can see on our calendar before then are The Stand Up Paddle Expo at Marcoola November 2&3, the Golden Days Music and surf Festival in Coolum November 9&10 and the next North Shore Realty Auctions December 12 (just kidding). On a positive note the selling activity is definitely improving and we are all looking forward to a strong finish to 2013. Giddyup

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