State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle today said the wish of the people of Caloundra to establish a local Waterways Authority to oversee Pumicestone Passage is alive and moving forward.
“In a recent telephone conference 17 people met to discuss whether a Waterways Authority was viable. Overwhelming the response was yes, acknowledging the times we live in, we still need to look to the future” Mr McArdle said.
“The Waterways Authority will be a body of local people but it will incorporate work undertaken by Local, State and Federal authorities, together with community groups and locals. It is a further example of Local Issues, Local People, Local Solutions.
“Some of the areas for consideration will include the economic, recreational and environmental questions impacting the Passage. Without a doubt Pumicestone Passage is the most important body of water on the Sunshine Coast, and is 35km body of water from Caloundra to Deception Bay with the catchment stretching inland to the D’Aguilar Ranges.
“It is important we step up, and the men and women who attended the teleconference were committed to continuing the task. Importantly this is our time and we must work towards our goals.
“From those who attended, a steering committee of five has been established to investigate further the scope of the Authority, what reports already exist and a potential way forward.
“Make no mistake, a lot of work has to be undertaken but the fact that the Passage is being placed under further pressure from population growth and environmental stress, makes this work critical.
“Though we live in the best part of the Sunshine Coast, there is still an obligation on us to leave the Passage in as good as if not better condition than we when we got it.
“The next committee meeting is to be set soon with local Councillors to be asked to attend.
“We all know there are important questions the Sunshine Coast and Queensland must face and now is the time to start planning for when we recover from our current situation,” Mr McArdle concluded.