Keryn Jones from Sunshine Coast Regional Council Environment outlines key election issues. Photo: Warren Lynam / Sunshine Coast Daily
Keryn Jones from Sunshine Coast Regional Council Environment outlines key election issues. Photo: Warren Lynam / Sunshine Coast Daily Warren Lynam

Sunshine Coast green activists say LNP ‘a lost cause’

ANY other political party would deliver better environmental outcomes for the Sunshine Coast and Queensland than the LNP, the region's peak green group said yesterday.

Sunshine Coast Environment Council has broken with its tradition of evaluating policy but refraining from party-political comment.

SCEC president Keryn Jones said the organisation, which represents more than 50 community groups, felt that trying to improve engagement with local LNP members was a lost cause.

She said they had "slagged off" at SCEC to other community groups, didn't accept established science and seemed to think an organisation that counted among its executive merchant bankers and business owners was just "idealistic hippies who didn't know how the world works" simply because it questioned the government's "any development is good development" mantra.

Ms Jones, a former Sunshine Coast councillor, said it was difficult to understand the lack of interest among Coast MPs given the high importance residents placed on the environment.

She said Environment Minister Andrew Powell (Glass House) had the responsibility to ensure the conditions of the Caloundra South development approval were adhered to but had failed to address Stockland's own reports that showed water quality standards would not be met.

"Stockland's own water quality studies show that the development will not meet the water quality objectives for Pumicestone Passage mandated under the Environmental Protection Act and condition 35 of the Master Plan approval,'' Ms Jones said.

"We have repeatedly written to Mr Powell calling upon him to act, as he is required to do under the legislation to ensure water quality objectives will be met.

"All we've had in response is correspondence assuring us that 'stringent conditions' have been placed on the development.''

Mr Powell last week rejected criticism that environmental legislation had gone backwards on his watch.

"It's all about balance,'' he said. "You can have all the legislation in the world but if you don't have the will or resource to police it what can you achieve?"

Mr Powell said an LNP government was committed to developing a climate change adaptation strategy with local government, industry and natural resource management.

Ms Jones said SCEC's concerns echoed those of environmental groups across the state - that policies to protect the environment had been drastically wound back.

On the Sunshine Coast Ms Jones said there had been a lack of consideration for sound planning and a determination to override planning jurisdictions.

The state had directed council to include Halls Creek as an identified growth area in its Town Plan, the Premier had derided four-storey height limits in beachside locations as "ridiculous", Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney had ordered the rezoning of Maroochy River Caravan Park against council's advice, Sports Minister Steve Dickson had attempted to place a motor sports park in a high-value forest area on Steve Irwin Way and the government had spearheaded the push for a commercial development in Kondalilla National Park.