Locals oppose lookout plans
Sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll are regular events at the Lows Lookout picnic shelter and residents are concerned that the council’s plan to build a new structure closer to their homes will be even more intrusive.
Nicole Allmann has lived next to the lookout for 14 years and says the shelter becomes a hive of activity after dark.
She said activities included “sex, drug deals, littering … noise, loud music, high-beam headlights (and) language that will stand your hairs on end”.
“When the wind blows in a southerly direction, these sounds filter with clarity into my lounge room and now council wishes to bring the shelter closer,” she said.
“I really can’t see why a new shelter can’t be erected on the existing historic site.”
Ms Allmann said Lows Lookout residents wanted the general Coolum community to have a say in what the council had in store for the lookout.
“There hasn’t been much public consultation at all – a few Lows Lookout residents do not qualify as the Coolum Beach community,” she said.
She said local residents were initially contacted by the council about moving the shelter in May last year.
They were outraged when council representatives showed them plans for the shelter shed virtually on their fence line.
Councillor Vivien Griffin met with residents again last week and presented new plans with the shelter away from the fences, but further up the hill towards residences, to allow for disabled access.
But residents are still not happy, and were incensed when a council representative said the move was a done deal.
Ms Allmann said there were plenty of other options available for council because its land went much further down the hill than most people realised.
“Demolish the white wooden fence facing north and place disabled car parking there, with a ramp to the shelter for easy access,” she said.
“Remove those large view-kidnapping trees that were planted by council, some of the noxious plants that are a fire hazard and restore this site to its former glory.”
Ms Griffin said the current shelter was in need of repair and not disability compliant.
“The costs of repairing it were equivalent to constructing a new one,” she said.
“The location of the current one is down the end of a quite steep slope, not disability compliant and (it will be) virtually impossible to achieve visibility compliance.”
The councillor said she had agreed to reconsider the council’s original plan after the first suggested location for a new shelter went down “like a lead balloon” with residents last year.
She said the council was looking at building a “pretty simple” shelter in place of the existing structure.
“This one will be disability compliant, which I think we absolutely should do,” she said.
“The construction date we were looking at was by the end of the financial year.”
Ms Allmann has urged Coolum residents to voice their opinions.
“I publicly invite mayor Bob Abbot to come and meet on site with the people of Coolum Beach,” she said.