2 April 2020
The President’s Report, 2019
The Mudjimba Residents’ Association Inc. enjoyed another busy year in 2019. The Committee work well together, and I acknowledge the wonderful work by;
• Vice President: Rowan Stanley
• Treasurer: Charles Toms
• Secretary: Deb Day
I also extend my appreciation and thanks to the other committee members;
• Grants Officer: Peter Sorensen
• Hall Manager: Jacki Williams
Jacki has again done an excellent job of managing the hall, which is our greatest asset and our main source of revenue. Sadly, Jacki advised that she can only continue in the role for the first few months of 2020. Words here are simply inadequate to express our gratitude for the enormous contribution Jacki has made to the Association and her care for the hall over many years. The Committee will have to work hard to replace the “irreplaceable”.
In order to facilitate the smooth running of the bi-monthly general meetings, the Management Committee also meets every other month (between the General Meetings).
The general meeting in February received an excellent presentation from Snr Constable Marlene Fisher of Coolum Police who provided great advice on household and personal security. She encouraged residents to report poor behaviour early by phoning 131444, or by using the Police Link app.
In April, Rowan Stanley was pleased to report that the appeal against Council‘s decision for an amendment to the town plan was upheld. The amendment was to allow the development of a service station and fast food outlets next to residents in Surfrider Place. Rowan outlined what has been a protracted history of appeals against Council to allow development of this site in contravention of the town plan. The success of this appeal showed how a small community group can fight against an unjust manipulation of the town plan that met the interests of a privileged developer.
The success of the Surfrider Place appeal was facilitated by local lawyer, Ray Barber. In June, Ray gave a presentation to the general meeting on how the appeal had been run and why it had been successful. The key learnings for our Association are;
• motivate (the effected) residents
• get lawyers and planners involved early
• have a reasonable case, reasonable funds and enough experts
In the instance of Mudjimba’s claim for compensation due to the new 1331 runway, Ray advised that such a claim would probably be heard in the Qld Supreme Court (and would be expensive). He advised the MRA to get organized early and to find a Councilor to champion the cause.
In June, the Draft Sunshine Coast Airport Masterplan 2040 was released for community consultation. This draft confirmed the proposed closure of the existing 1836 runway and the redevelopment of the northern half of that runway for “other uses”. In August, the MRA did submit its concerns for this proposal and highlighting that the 2014 EIS clearly indicated that the 1836 runway would remain operational when the new 1331 runway was opened, providing operational flexibility, particularly for the lighter aircraft of the local aviation sector.
On 18 October 2019, the Sunshine Coast Airport Masterplan 2040 was approved by Council confirming that the existing 1836 runway will be closed. I attended that Council meeting and was shocked that there was no debate by Councilors, or acknowledgement of the community concerns over the draft including the closure of the 1836 runway. Our elected representatives had abandoned both the 1836 runway and the ratepayers whose rates had paid for the 1836 runway.
The October general meeting received a timely presentation from Tom Markwell of Maroochydore SES. We were entertained with an excellent presentation on preparing for the coming storm and cyclone season, on how to protect your property against the elements, as well as how to prepare for evacuation if necessary. The feeling of those in attendance was that the visit was a ‘real wake-up call’.
With the Council elections scheduled for March 2020, the December meeting invited Kathryn Hyman, the challenger to the Division 8 incumbent, Jason Opray, to present her case for election. (Jason, who was unavailable in December, was invited to respond at the Feb 2020 meeting). Kathryn’s candidature was based on her intent to represent all of Division 8 (not just the privileged). She advocated genuine community consultation, transparency, upholding the Planning Scheme, and financial responsibility. She thought Council needed to get back to the basics and not try to be a developer.
(footnote: Kathryn lost to Jason by 180 votes in March 2020, with only 65% voting during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic)
In conclusion, the Mudjimba Residents Association continues to follow issues of relevance to our community and is keen to understand what our community desires. The most compelling issue in the next year, or two, will be the impact the opening of the 1331 runway will have on residents and their quality of life and we are preparing that claim over the next year.
It is imperative that we have a vibrant community organization, and we encourage all residents of Mudjimba to be actively involved as members in the Association.
President, Mudjimba Residents’ Association
Presidents Report 2019