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Battle over proposed local surf ranch

The World Surf League says the majority of Coast locals support its surf ranch.
Kelly Slater surfing a wave at his Surf Ranch in Lemoore, California

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Battle over proposed local surf ranch

The World Surf League says the majority of Coast locals support its surf ranch.

In response to division nine councillor Maria Suarez’s opposing views to the Surf Ranch proposal (MWP August 28), this week we present an alternative viewpoint from Consolidated Properties and World Surf League:

Consolidated Properties and World Surf League put forward an application to the state government six months ago to have the site declared as a priority development area.

Division nine councillor Maria Suarez  says, “The Coolum West site is some of the lowest lying and most flood-affected land on the Sunshine Coast.” However, WSL general manager Andrew Stark believes many people are in favour of the project for Coolum West. “Seventy-three per cent of the Sunshine Coast community support the project proceeding and we have spoken with hundreds of local businesses that want to see our development succeed,” he says.

“We know there are concerns about flooding. And we know it’s on us to find a solution to the flooding issue. “If we can’t, the project won’t proceed and we wouldn’t want it to.”

Mr Stark says the company is engaging one of Australia’s pre-eminent flood specialist engineers, associate professor Trevor Johnson, to advise on how to mitigate potential flooding.

“Having worked on the Maroochydore River floodplain since the 1980s and analysed the flood impacts of this site for the last five years, I am confident that flood impacts can be mitigated,” Assoc Prof Johnson says.

Consolidated Properties Group CEO Don O’Rorke says it is not possible to have a wave pool and residential component at different locations.

“We have always said that residential and tourism components are required to cross-subsidise the wave pool development,” he says. “By collocating these developments, there are significant construction cost efficiencies that enable the overall commercial viability of the project.”

“Collocation of residential and the tourism components also allows for the return over 75 per cent (375 hectares) of the site to public open space through the dedication of untouched riparian wetlands, regenerated green open space and public waterways, including linking Noosa National Park to the Coolum Conservation Park and preservation of the existing tree corridor,” Mr O’Rorke says.

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