Swanny rips in on rock

MP fires up af­ter rock wall de­ci­sion de­lay

Sunshine Coast Daily - - NEWS - Scott Sawyer scott.sawyer@sc­news.com.au

EX-DEPUTY Prime Min­is­ter and Nam­bour State High School alumni Wayne Swan has ques­tioned the de­lay of a de­ci­sion on how best to re­place the ex­ist­ing Ma­roochy River mouth sand bags.

Cot­ton Tree has been one of the Lil­ley MP and his fam­ily’s favourite hol­i­day des­ti­na­tions.

Mr Swan made clear he was not speak­ing on be­half of the Don’t Rock The Ma­roochy com­mit­tee, but from his per­sonal view­point he thought the com­mu­nity had ev­ery right to ques­tion the process sur­round­ing the groyne re­newal con­sid­er­a­tion.

“I think too many coun­cil­lors have got a pre­de­ter­mined view that it’s the rock wall or noth­ing,” he said.

Mr Swan had been con­cerned to read re­ports that Sun­shine Coast Coun­cil had held 110 closed-door meet­ings since the start of April, and said it was clear “not all coun­cil­lors are be­ing frank about their in­ten­tions on this mat­ter”.

“In re­spect to the Mayor, I think peo­ple are en­ti­tled to ask ques­tions,” Mr Swan said.

“You can’t on the one hand have 110 closed-door meet­ings, which ex­clude the com­mu­nity, then on the other hand make the case for free­dom and democ­racy in the case of de­vel­oper do­na­tions,” he said, re­fer­ring to Sun­shine Coast Mayor and Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment As­so­ci­a­tion of Queens­land pres­i­dent Mark Jamieson’s re­cent com­ments op­pos­ing the State Gov­ern­ment’s de­vel­oper do­na­tion ban for lo­cal coun­cils.

A Sun­shine Coast Coun­cil spokesman said coun­cil­lors had re­ceived “one brief­ing from coun­cil staff and the in­de­pen­dent chair of the Ma­roochy River Es­tu­ary Con­sul­ta­tion Group ear­lier this week”.

That meet­ing pro­vided them with in­for­ma­tion given to the com­mu­nity dur­ing re­cent pub­lic in­for­ma­tion ses­sions.

The spokesman said all coun­cil de­ci­sions were made in open ses­sion and the coun­cil ad­hered to the Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment reg­u­la­tions at all times when de­ter­min­ing whether a re­port should be con­sid­ered in closed ses­sion.

Mr Swan called on politi­cians from all sides of the spec­trum to re­spect the strong com­mu­nity op­po­si­tion to any pos­si­ble rock wall or rock groyne re­plac­ing the ex­ist­ing sand­bags.

“All of that (Cot­ton Tree’s at­trac­tions) will be de­stroyed with a mas­sive rock wall,” he said.

“There’s no ques­tion that peo­ple from all walks of life and all po­lit­i­cal per­sua­sions are strongly of this view.”

Con­sul­ta­tion group chair­man Pro­fes­sor John Martin said the re­quest for an ex­ten­sion for con­sid­er­a­tion un­til March was to en­able fur­ther com­mu­nity pre­sen­ta­tions to the group.

He said the 200m rock wall op­tion was off the ta­ble and it was now down to re­plac­ing the ex­ist­ing sand­bags with sand­bags, or re­plac­ing them with rock groynes.

“Of course, it’s a com­mu­nity as­set which is highly val­ued,” he said when asked whether strong weight would be given to the com­mu­nity’s wishes.

He said the coun­cil had gone to great lengths to give the com­mu­nity a chance to have its say.

“To their (coun­cil’s) credit they are con­sid­er­ing it (com­mu­nity’s wishes),” Prof Martin said.

Don’t Rock The Ma­roochy spokesman Stu­art Dell ear­lier this week said they were happy with the de­ci­sion to ex­tend con­sid­er­a­tion of the op­tions un­til March, pro­vided the com­mu­nity’s wishes re­place sand­bags with sand­bags and keep the Ma­roochy as a wild river was the end re­sult.

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