Coast CBD debate hidden in confidential
AN IMPROMPTU switch to confidential session has hidden Sunshine Coast Council debate on one of its "region making projects".
SunCentral CEO John Knaggs commentated on footage and photographs of the Maroochydore CBD construction site for about five minutes yesterday before calling for questions from the Mayor and councillors in an open session of a special meeting.
The update on which Mr Knaggs was calling for questions included proposals to amend building heights and density in the development.
But those topics did not draw questions.
Cr Greg Rogerson asked one about future road connection to Dalton Drive.
Mr Knaggs answered it and asked if there were any more questions, reminding the meeting they would soon be going into a confidential discussion.
That was despite the CBD update being listed on the agenda as an open meeting item.
Does the Sunshine Coast Council close its meetings too often?
No more questions came so the item proceeded to a vote.
The Mayor and all councillors except Cr Ted Hungerford voted to receive the Maroochydore City Centre update.
It was all wrapped up in less than 10 minutes.
After another item the open meeting was changed to confidential and Mr Knaggs was called in.
He did not emerge for more than an hour.
When he did he said a question from the Daily about whether or not there was a push for building height limits to be increased was a matter for the council to comment on.
Mr Knaggs said the same about a question on increased density, except to add he thought the council should be using every opportunity to build density into the project to support public transport, future rail and light rail.
"I certainly understand why council may be looking at that," Mr Knaggs said.
The Daily asked a council media officer if Mayor Mark Jamieson would answer questions on height amendments and density but was told he would not be available as he was too busy with meetings.
The officer instead issued a statement, saying the council was reviewing the Maroochydore city centre development scheme to ensure the proposed height, density and development controls would achieve a contemporary CBD in line with council's vision and infill targets set by the State Government.
"Any proposed changes to the current development scheme will be publicly notified and subject to a community consultation process," the statement said.