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I think we are all aware of the phrase “Timing is everything” and so it is again being proven by our local Coolum Councillor Vivien Griffen. a lot of hard work and community consultation has gone into developing a vision for Coolum’s Esplanade precinct to try and match or keep up with the changes created by new commercial and residential developments in the last 10 years. It seems that not many people paid much attention during the consultation period to what was going on because they probably thought that it wouldn’t affect them very much but now that the councillor has suggested a Benefitted Area Levy to pay for the proposed changes every man, woman and their pets seem to have an opinion and not too many of them appear to be favourable to the idea.

It has been proposed that an average annual levy of approximately $130-160 p.a for residential property and approximately $640 for commercial property would be included on the rates bill of property owners in the Coolum and surrounding area for the next 12 years. That this is being proposed when an already active campaign against council levies is in place, we have just had our 6th interest rate rise in the last 7 months, council rates are looking at increasing by another 7% as it is, electricity price increases of over 13% have been approved for the next year and we are about to be charged a lot more for our water usage you can see that the timing of this proposal was always going to be wrong no matter how worthwhile the redevel- opment may eventually be.

All affected property owners should have received correspondence from council by now asking for feedback on the plan and levy proposal. Please contact us at any time if you need more information on what is going on. Possibly because the levy suggestion has caused so much grief, the councillor has decided it is time to get tougher on the developers sitting on undeveloped sites and not maintaining them. Sites such as the old medical centre near Suncorp on the Esplanade, the balance of the Element site, the corner of Birtwill St next to the Coolum Hotel and the hotel site itself have all been left in a poor and sorry state that does nothing for the overall visual impression of Coolum’s main Street.

It appears that work is likely to commence on some of these sites in the not too distant future but council appears determined to make the owners maintain their sites appropriately. Council has also announced new swimming pool regulations that are effective from July 1. This will see pool owners paying a $45 registration fee plus an annual $33 inspection fee. Existing lawfully constructed pools will not be subject to the initial registration fee. It appears that any property with a pool that is sold will also need to have an inspection to ensure compliance. The long awaited North Shore Community Centre has received federal funding of $3,500,000 which will see the project finally proceed.

This Community Centre will be situated on the western side of the existing North Shore Multi Sports Centre (near the new traffic light entry to the airport). The new Bendigo Community Bank at Marcoola will be officially opened on June 23. Only moving into the adjoining building on the corner of Lexie Street, the move has been necessitated by the very strong growth and support of local residents and businesses. Finally, good to see that Coolum Hyatt has again played an instrumental part in the QLD State of Origin preparations. Must be something in the water but don’t tell anyone from NSW about our secret.

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