MEDIA RELEASE
16 July 2018

SDDCA Urges Councillors to defer Community Facilities Draft Decision

Sippy Downs & District Community Association Inc (SDDCA) met with senior council staff today regarding a proposed community facilities precinct at Sippy Downs and urge Councillors to defer any draft decision at Council’s Ordinary Meeting on 19 July.

SDDCA President Matt Druce said:

“After identifying a range of serious concerns about the process and subsequent report for a proposed community facilities precinct at Sippy Downs, the SDDCA President and Secretary today met with senior council staff including, Warren Bunker, James Ruprai, Leah Bancroft, Cr Rick Baberowski and Cr Christian Dickson.

“After reviewing the 78-page document, I am deeply concerned about the glaring anomalies in the report that was presented to Councillors, who will, in turn, make their determination at Thursday’s Ordinary Meeting.

“The report was only made available to the public at midday on Friday, effectively giving us 3.5 working days (as volunteers) to digest the information and seek answers to the many questions that the report raises.

“For example, the draft reporting appears to be completely inconsistent with council’s approach to flooding and ecology, recently taken elsewhere in the region. You only have to refer to the recent approvals for Twin Waters West and the Pelican Waters Golf Club to see the blatant inconsistency.”

Mr Druce said, “SDDCA volunteers have invested a significant amount of time communicating with the landowner and town planning consultant regarding this proposed development. We were delighted to view the concept plans for a proposed community facilities precinct on Peter Crosby Way, Sippy Downs.”

“Based upon the information provided, this proposal ticks all the boxes for what has been lacking in our community.  The issue now is that information provided by council officers is at odds with that provided by the landowner. The SDDCA sees it must ensure that the land owner’s offer of approximately 6 hectares of useable land dedicated for community facilities, together with 2.5 million dollars to construct playing fields, a community building and associated infrastructure is delivered.

“With a clear and evident disparity between Council officer’s and Cardno’s flooding assessment, the Association has concerns that there is a severe lack of open and transparent dialogue between the parties to exhaustively explore concerns, and in turn solutions, to deliver this much-needed community precinct within Sippy Downs.

“Therefore, to ensure that we do not lose this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to remedy the historic shortfall of open space and provision of community facilities for Sippy Downs, we urge Sunshine Coast Councillors to defer any decision (draft or otherwise) until any matters are cleared up, and the applicant is given a chance to respond. Open dialogue can then be held between all parties, including the community,” said Mr Druce.

“For many years residents thought this opportunity would never arise due to the lack of suitably sized land in Sippy Downs. Community land in the Palmview development will service new Palmview residents, so we strongly support this opportunity for Sippy Downs residents, who remain without community facilities.

“Additional education facilities and retirement village/aged care living are warranted in this area, and we are pleased that no traditional housing lots are proposed.
“A presentation on the proposal was made at the SDDCA AGM last year and was well received by residents.

“The fact that council officers have had the Urban Investigation Area submissions for 15 months, and neither the applicant nor the community has been given a chance to engage in the process in an endeavor to resolve any issues raised, is deeply concerning.

“From today’s meetings with both Council and the landowner’s representatives, it appears that the concerns raised by Council can be overcome and the delivery of a mutually beneficial outcome between the parties is achievable if a genuine attempt is made to focus on potential solutions.

“We will be informing residents that unfortunately, after these meetings, the anomalies contained in the report have not been clarified to our satisfaction.  Therefore we will be submitting a range of outstanding questions to council officers for their written response, for the public record.”

Mr Druce added, “The SDDCA was actively involved with council’s recent draft Sippy Downs Parks Master Plan process. We see a wealth of benefits in the proposal that would deliver objectives of the Parks Master Plan that it currently does not and cannot offer and have asked council that their departments work collaboratively to ensure the best outcome for residents. The current proposal has the potential to benefit our community by delivering much-needed facilities years before the final Parks Master Plan reaches fruition.

“It is lunacy that council is not taking up the opportunity to secure these facilities at no cost to ratepayers.”

This media release was approved by the SDDCA Management Team

Media inquiries:

Matt Druce
SDDCA President
0406 991 402
https://sippydowns.org.au