Noosa News | 21st July 2015
THE blue waters of Lake Weyba will reflect no difference, nor the giant scribbly gums, but if wildlife picks up on the soft scent of victory, there could be an extra buzz in the air at Lake Weyba.
LAST Thursday, marked a milestone in a community’s battle against the Lake Weyba on Noosa development, after various opposing parties received notice that lawyers on behalf of their client, the developers Northbrook Corporation Pty Ltd, advised they had instructed their client to offer to discontinue the appeal, subject to each party agreeing to bear its own costs of appeal.
The legal letter noted that this decision came after the court’s decision of June 3, 2015, to refuse the client’s: “minor change application”.
Although, the group was waiting to hear if other parties – including Noosa and Sunshine Coast Regional Councils – would agree to bear their own costs of appeal, after about three years of ongoing battles, Friends of Lake Weyba resident Anita Brake said she considered the letter meant they were close to the finish.
“This has been a very long and exhausting battle for the local community but we are now more confident of a significant victory for the green heart of the Sunshine Coast region.
“It would also be a win for the local government process, which has seen Noosa Council and Sunshine Coast Council work together to successfully defend their town plans.
“But the biggest winner will unquestionably been Lake Weyba itself.
“The pristine shoreline of this aquatic jewel will now remain free from the ugly scar of urban development.
“The former Noosa on Weyba site sits at a vital cross point of two wildlife corridors. It is imperative that this land be preserved for the future of the local koala population and other threatened species.”
Noosa Parks Association officer, Dr Michael Gloster, could also see a victory in sight for campaigners.
“Friends of Lake Weyba deserve enormous credit and NPA are pleased to have played their part.”
However, a word of warning came from town planner Paul Summers, who said the discontinuance of Godfrey Mantle’s Lake Weyba appeal does not necessarily herald the end of development.
“While the foreshore areas remain in private hands, the attractive views, the Noosa environment and the limits on development in the area will result in development campaigns again in the future,” he said.
He said legislation that enabled the application to be made in the first place has been repealed and while such an application could not be made today, it did not protect the future against changes.
He said true protection would only come if the land was acquired for national park, to preserve the corridors into the future.
Mr Summers said resources and energies expended on legislation, the development application and subsequent appeal would have gone a long way to funding acquisition.
“The State Government and the Noosa and Sunshine Coast Councils should be working together to bring this solution about,” he said.