Ashley Robinson OAM

Mayoral candidate applauds Council decision to halt appointment of beach contractor

MAYORAL candidate Ashley Robinson today congratulated the lobby group Beach Matters and the Mooloolaba business community for forcing Sunshine Coast Council to call a halt to the appointment of a contractor to begin work on Stage 2 of the Mooloolaba Foreshore Revitalisation project.

He described it as a victory for common sense and said it gave an opportunity for businesses operating along the Mooloolaba beach strip to have their point of view considered in a timely manner.

By a vote of six to five, the Council decided today to direct CEO Emma Thomas to continue liaising with the short-listed tenderers, but not to sign a contract with any of them. Instead a report, detailing the substance of her negotiations, would be put to the newly elected Council in either April or May, when council elections are complete.

Mr Robinson said the decision would not have been made without the hard work of groups like Beach Matters and the Mooloolaba business community.

“This will allow careful consideration to be given to the plight of businesses operating in Mooloolaba, which will clearly be adversely affected by ongoing construction work,” Mr Robinson said. “Hopefully there will be decisions made that will minimise the harm to be done, and mitigate the hurt they will face.”

Mr Robinson, who earlier this week called on the Council to postpone the decision-making process until a new Council had been elected, said he was pleased that a majority of councillors had seen the wisdom of delaying the appointment of a contractor to begin work on the project’s second stage.

“The unfortunate thing is that it took until the last minute for the Council to see sense – and even then for five of the current Councillors to vote against a decision that is clearly in the best interest of all stakeholders,” he said. 

“I can assure that a Council I lead will be a better listener to the genuine concerns of ratepayers and the business community,” he said.

Stage 2 of the project involves the construction of a seawall on the southern end of the beach and the replacement of the Loo With A View, which has passed its use-by date. 

Two community consultative groups will be established to provide advice and be briefed upon aspects of the project.