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How to fit 200,000 new people in over next 25 years

THE Coast officially has a new plan on how an expected extra 200,000 residents will be slotted in around its environmental assets in the coming 25 years.

Councillors at Thursday morning's meeting voted unanimously in favour of adopting the Environment and Liveability Strategy.

Deputy Mayor Cr Tim Dwyer spoke of the importance of those new residents coming to already developed areas.

"The settlement pattern will be very, very important," Cr Dwyer said.

He said he had regular feedback from residents telling him they didn't want the Sunshine Coast to become like the Gold Coast.

"They are very good at telling us what they don't want but they can't articulate what they do want because they are too busy saying what they don't want."

He said he hoped the conversation would become more sophisticated than people saying they didn't want to become the Gold Coast.

"What do you want? Urban sprawl?"

Cr Dwyer said there was value in condensing settlement around major centres in the convenience it offered residents to amenities as well as the savings on maintenance of infrastructure.

He supported the document.

"Have we got it 100 per cent right? I'm not too sure but I'll tell you what, we have had a fair dinkum crack at it."

The meeting heard from one of its officers there were 3500 connections with the community during the public consultation period on the draft document earlier this year.

It heard the draft plan had majority support.

As such there were no fundamental changes to the document released in April and there were no major changes in policy direction.

Cr Christian Dickson challenged people who didn't like the plan to make a better one.

He said it was the best document he had seen in 11 years in local government.

"We can go in one way and that is to allow these major greenfield developments all through the region and destroy our natural environment," Cr Dickson said.

"We don't want to do that."

He noted about 64 per cent of new residents were bound for the coastal strip.

"We are going to be putting them in a place where they will be connected."

He said State and Federal politicians needed to fund the infrastructure required under the plan.

"We've got a plan, we've got some solutions, you need to sign up because this is about the future of the Sunshine Coast."

He said he planned to be in council throughout the life of the document.

"I'm going to make this a reality."

Topics:  environment liveability sunshine coast council


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