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Dune warriors close to victory

Coolum District Coast Care members Leigh Warneminde, Ed Hammet, Silva Make-Neste, Jan Crossland and Linese Norrish celebrate the decision to protect Yaroomba's parabolic dune. Photo: Scw910b
Coolum District Coast Care members Leigh Warneminde, Ed Hammet, Silva Make-Neste, Jan Crossland and Linese Norrish celebrate the decision to protect Yaroomba's parabolic dune. Photo: Scw910b

They have not won the fight yet, but battle-weary residents trying to stop a bikeway being built over Yaroomba’s fragile parabolic dune feel ahead on points at last.

And there is only one round to go.

The residents rallied at a meeting last week, primed to convince Sunshine Coast council officers that Maroochy council’s decision last year to build a three-metre-wide, 1.5km bikeway through the dunes was a mistake.

Council planning director Julie Edwards listened politely to community concerns then surprised just about everyone by announcing that the council and Lend Lease had agreed in principle that the bikeway would not be built along the sand dunes.

Instead, planned footpaths along Tanah Street East and David Low Way would be upgraded for the bikeway, which is part of a planned 96km continuous pathway from Caloundra to Tewantin.

Though the deal still has to be approved by the full council, Coast Care’s Leigh Warneminde said the announcement was a “very positive outcome”.

She said a meeting two weeks earlier – organised by councillor Debbie Blumel and attended by council officers and Coast Care, Development Watch and Yaroomba Progress Association members – was when “the tide turned”.

“It seems as though we actually convinced them that we’re not rabid greenies. There’s actually a purpose behind the reason that we’re arguing about the bike track,” she said.

Ms Blumel said Lend Lease, as part of the approval of the Hyatt master plan, had to fund the pathway’s design and construction – and only Lend Lease could apply for a change to the conditions.

And Lend Lease had been “very cooperative”.

“There were over 300 conditions put on that development and once it (the application) was opened, they could have applied for anything. They agreed to limit it to just the bike path,” she said.


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