Noosa Heads (car) park turning green again

The use of Noosa Heads Lions Park as a car park will be cut back substantially after Easter.

Council staff recommended the park continue to be used on major holiday breaks such as Christmas and Easter as well as long weekends and school holidays at the General Committee meeting on March 13, and to be considered in its temporary car park status in council’s Destination Management Plan (DMP).

But Cr Frank Wilkie proposed an alternative motion to discontinue its use as a car park, with two temporary exceptions, commencing after Easter 2023.

Cr Wilkie said an application should be made to the state government to again convert the park for car parking, subject to weather, covering Christmas 2023 and Easter 2024 only.

“On September 17, 2020, council allowed the temporary use of the park for a car park during the Covid [lockdown],” he said.

The intention was to stimulate the south-east Queensland ‘drive’ market as interstate and international borders were closed, due to Covid, “to support Noosa’s endeavour to attract the south- east Queensland drive market, as a temporary measure only”, he said.

“The Queensland Government’s Covid public health measures ended in October 2022, and therefore, in the spirit of this council’s resolution, Noosa’s use of the green space for car parking ought to end.”

Cr Frank Wilkie

Cr Wilkie said with border controls now gone, visitor numbers had returned to pre-Covid levels and traffic had done likewise.

“We do not need to be encouraging the drive market any longer, and we need to return to the community use of this green space on long weekends and school holidays.

“This is the agreement we have with Noosa and the Lions Club.”

Cr Frank Wilkie

He said continued use as a car park was in breach of the Noosa Plan, the Department of Resources’ park designation as well as the Transport Strategy.

Cr Wilkie added that use of free buses was still well below capacity and offering car parking in the Hastings Street precinct would only attract more vehicles.

But Cr Amelia Lorentson and Mayor Clare Stewart put up arguments on various points, including that the car park was used by locals and tourism workers in the Hastings St precinct.

Cr Lorentson said while Covid might be over, “we are still in a post-pandemic crisis” and she would “not support Cr Wilkie’s motion”.

Cr Stewart said everybody supported green space and knew the use as a car park was temporary, “but we have to trust the process”.

Cr Stockwell sought to go further than Cr Wilkie, suggesting the park not be considered in the DMP, to ensure it maintained its green space credentials, but failed in his amendment.

Cr Wilkie’s motion, with a handful of minor amendments, narrowly won the day in a 4-3 vote (For: Crs Wilkie, Jurisevic, Stockwell, Wegener; Against: Crs Stewart, Lorentson and Finzel.)


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    Would like to see where the Mayor and Councillor gathered the data regarding locals and workers using this parking – methinks pulled out of the proverbial hat or perhaps it is anecdotal (not usually recognised in any valid argument).

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