Between 40 and 50 residents were in attendance at the Bellvista Meeting Place for the final Public Meeting for 2014. We had a good crowd along, excellent presenters and lots of new faces.
People ended the night having enjoyed some of the highest profile people on the Sunshine Coast, had an opportunity to share local concerns and seek answers to their questions.
The meeting began at 6pm to accommodate the Sunshine Coast Council Mayor, Mark Jamieson. After complimenting the community on its great new Meeting Place, the mayor spoke on a range of issues which were “whole Council Area issues”.
He spoke of increased employment for the coast, expanding residential areas and some of the huge advantages and challenges this development brought. The massive impact of the new Sunshine Coast University Hospital in bringing a range of services to everyone’s doorstep, to the huge employment opportunities it added, the specialized skills which came with the hospital and the creation of a wide range of development and investigative industries which could prosper as well.
There were avenues for the growth of industry on the Coast. Mayor Jamieson mentioned Aviation, Tourism, the development of “Clean technology” and Agri Business growth as just a few areas which would bring employment and certainty to residents of the area.
The mayor was excited about the new “City Centre” for Maroochydore the development of the Horton Park Golf Club site would bring. This was a brand new from scratch project, not a redevelopment of an older site.
He was excited about the new Solar Energy Farm and its potential to further develop “Clean Technology” studies and scientific development hand in hand with the Sunshine Coast University. Mayor Jamieson also saw a huge Tourism bonus from the Solar Energy Farm and forecast the development of more Solar Energy Farms into the future.
Public Transport was another exciting project in the pipeline. A Light Rail feasibility study had been completed with various routes suggested. As the Coast’s population grew with new industries, the need for a cheap and effective public transport system became more important.
The Coast is expecting at least three major sporting events over the next few years. Major Surf Life Saving, Outrigger and Ironman events were timetabled to occur here over the next few years adding millions of tourist dollars to local businesses.
The mayor then took questions from the floor of the meeting on subjects including possible flooding issues for the proposed Solar Energy Farm, the plans for the expansion of the Sunshine Coast Airport, a second entry/exit road for Bellvista/Bells Creek, how SCC could be slugged an extra 22 million to Noosa following the recent de-amalgamation and Council’s position on Halls Creek/Beerwah East.
The Mayor was warmly thanked for his presentation. The BeCA AGM then took place with reports being given on various aspects of the organisation’s operation throughout 2013/4. The Treasurer reported a balance of around $3,500.
Kevin Hegarty, Chief Executive, Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service then updated the meeting on the construction progress of the Sunshine Coast University Hospital. He had figures on proposed employment numbers and the resultant influx of young professionals and medical expertise to this area. There were updates on progress until the eventual opening in 2016. There were figures on car park spaces, thousands upon thousands of truck loads of cement, and a myriad other facts and figures.
Kevin then took questions from the floor, one of which was on the future of the Caloundra Hospital and what services it would continue to provide. Would it still provide emergency facilities? He produced figures on admissions over a previous period. Many of those who attend the Emergency section could have been dealt with appropriately by a GP. Then there were those which were true emergency cases and in over 80% of these cases the patient was immediately transferred to another hospital by ambulance, better equipped to cater for their needs!
This seemed to indicate that another better equipped emergency hospital which could accommodate those 80% moved on from Caloundra would remove one step from the process.
The figures presented were quite interesting and showed quite clearly that a better option was have those Emergency patients go direct to a more appropriate facility rather than Caloundra Hospital.
Kevin was warmly thanked by the audience for his informative presentation.
Finally the SC Council’s David Cooper, Coordinator Community Planning and Strategy, Community Services Department introduced Stephanie Hembrecht and spoke on the responsibilities of a future Management Group to oversee and promote use of the Bellvista Meeting Place. BeCA is hopeful that a local group can take on this role, rather than have the Meeting Place managed by another group at Lake Kawana.
The “Ray White” bicycle was then drawn and there is now a new owner!
The new owner is delighted with her knew acquisition. The winning ticket was purchased with her last dollar coin just prior to the lucky draw.
The prize was presented by Dave Cooper, a former Ray White employee!
The meeting closed at around 8:30 pm and many stayed behind for a chat and a light bite to eat.
It was a ‘big’ night for BeCA and our community. It was very enjoyable and extremely informative.