There were many new faces to BeCA at the Emergency Services Expo on Monday evening. The kids loved checking out the rescue boat, the Fire Engine and the Police car. From time to time the sirens went and all the lights flashed. As the children scampered from display to display they were busy enjoying sweets along the way.
The Currimundi Lions were there too slaving over the BBQ cooking free sausages for all who were there.
The Red Cross was present along with the SES and others. It was great fun. Mums and Dads were glad to see their kids enjoying themselves
After the raffle draw at 6:30 many people had other prizes to carry home with them as well. There was great camaraderie as some senior members swapped their 3 week “Free Bootcamp” raffle prize for a “Chemway pack” and vice versa!
The AGM got underway at 6:45 sharp. Mal Brough and Mark McArdle were both coming after attending other engagements that evening so the planned Agenda was adjusted as required.
The president welcomed all and announced that the previous BeCA Management Committee had been returned and all positions remained as they had been the previous year. With a busy schedule in front of us it was decided that all reports from Sub-Committee will be available online including the 2014/5 Financial Report. The Bank Statement at the end of the Financial Year showed BeCA had a balance of $3,336.75 in its account whereas the Bells Reach Community Garden account (also under the umbrella of BeCA) had a balance of $7,210.
The President thanked all the volunteers who had assisted in the previous year, the Management Team Sub Committee Conveners and had special praise for Secretary Deb O’Reilly.
Federal MP Mal Brough spoke on a range of issues effecting many residents from around our area. His major current focus was to secure Federal funding for further upgrades to the Bruce Highway, particularly as the population of this part of the world explodes and roads become even more congested. He has sparked a “Boost the Bruce” campaign and is seeking Sunshine Coast residents to sign petitions either online or in stores to seek further funding for this road, the only road in our area which is maintained by the Federal Government.
He too was concerned about the growing population of this area and the lack of major roadways able to accommodate this increase in population. It is predicted current road usage levels will double over the next ten years. He is keen to explore avenues to assist Stockland to bring forward the construction dates for the extension of Kawana Link Road from Caloundra Rd through to the new Roys Rd intersection with the Bruce Highway.
He did not have good news for those in Bellvista who are forced to endure a below par internet service with plans to extend the NBN to Bellvista still three years away. Mal took questions from the floor to answer individual concerns from residents.
Local internet company Flash Fibres however can provide a 25MBS/5MBS unlimited wireless service at under $80 per month for 2 years with a setup cost of $399. This service is approximately 4 or 5 times the best a Bellvista resident may expect under the current available ADSL service. You can read more HERE. There is a substantial discount for Pensioners. Flash Fibres are hopeful of being able to add a phone service with the internet connection in the near future. Flash Fibres were at the meeting and were able to provide information to interested residents on the spot.
Stockland’s Mark Stephens and Josh Sondergeld were in attendance and announced that work should commence on the second exit/entry road to the estates in the next week or so with an expected completion date in 12 months’ time if there are no major interruptions due to weather or unforeseen circumstances. There were several questions from the floor for Stockland on various road construction and sewer upgrade issues.
Councillor Baberowski then spoke to the meeting on a range of issues. He was pleased with a recent report released on the condition of the Pumicestone Passage. Of particular interest to those in attendance was news that the shade cloth to fully cover playground equipment in Rawson St should be installed by mid November, that costing and funding was now in place for a new pathway connecting Crater St in Bellvista with Ghostgum Cl in Little Mountain which would provide all weather foot access between the two estates. More particularly this would make foot access to and from Unity College and Bellvista Market Place more convenient under all weather conditions for residents from Little Mountain. The photo above shows the Bellvista end of the proposed connecting footpath.
Cr Baberowski explained that his major focus for his discretionary funding had previously been on ensuring the Bellvista Meeting Place was properly designed and outfitted. Now the Meeting Place was fully operational, finance has been freed up to permit some other long standing requests.
Cr Baberowski also aired his concerns on roads and planning and believes that all Sunshine Coast roads will come under more pressure as the population increases. Council mainly looks after the maintenance of roads rather than the funding of new works.
Most of the roads around where we live are under the control of the State Government. It may be that Stockland are building them at their expense but they are under State Government control and guidelines.
Local state MP Mark McArdle focused much of his presentation on the roads issue as well. His concern is over the increase in traffic on Caloundra Rd and how planning and implementation is required now rather than waiting for the population to increase and local roads become even more congested. Mark believes the new Bellvista Blvd extension to re connect with Caloundra Rd at the Corbould Park roundabout will go some way into relieving traffic congestion during the afternoon along Caloundra Rd.
Mark does not necessarily see a new road connecting Bellvista Blvd with Pelican Waters Blvd as being a cost effective solution to remove traffic from Caloundra Rd. He spoke of a proposed road from Nicklin Way joining Queen St to provide an alternative main route into Caloundra.
He feels the best solution to ease traffic congestion, especially around the Caloundra Rd/Nicklin Way roundabout, may be to extend Caloundra Rd/Bowman Rd to three lanes through to the Stockland Shopping Centre from the roundabout. The cost would be incredible and would require resumptions of land but may be the best way to alleviate traffic concerns along Caloundra Rd.
The question of public transport arose and inevitably the light rail proposal. In nearly all cases, government funded public transport requires subsidization as an ongoing cost. A privately built light rail service would need to operate at a profit and would therefore want to service the major tourist and business hubs along the Sunshine Coast, namely Maroochydore, Mooloolaba, Kawana Shopping Centre and Caloundra. The added cost of servicing the new University Hospital would not be considered by a private developer. Whichever privately funded developer took on the establishment of a light rail proposal, they may not see a huge profit made by the light rail service itself, but would profit from servicing a range of developments along the proposed light rail route.
Mark took questions from the floor on a variety of issues.
The meeting closed at around 8:45 pm and the well over 40 people in attendance were invited to stay back for tea or coffee and a biscuit and the chance to further follow up on any concerns with those still present.