The hinterland: a playground or a plaything?

19 September, 2011
Author: Charles Hodgson

Sunshine Coast Council wants to hear from both hinterland and coastal residents about what makes our green areas tick, and how to ensure they remain a vibrant economic part of our overall future, as it compiles feedback for its draft Rural Futures Strategy.
“One thing we know for sure: Maleny isn’t Montville; Kin Kin isn’t Kenilworth; Cooroy isn’t Conondale; and Beerwah isn’t Brooloo. The hinterland is a patchwork of very individual communities with different characteristics, so one size does not fit all,” Economic Development Portfolio Councillor Lew Brennan said.
“Farmers, tree-changers, small and home-based business operators, retirees, artists, musicians and community stalwarts all live there, but that’s not to say they all have the same outlook for its future in an ever-changing world.
“A farmer might be struggling with residential encroachment limiting his activities, but at the same time wants to make space for his own kids to live – is that exacerbating the problem?
“A community may be faced with a new industry which could dramatically affect its tourism viability – does it have a say? Can it live with that?
“Families’ kids may be wondering where their future lies, as they often can’t find local work, can’t get local training and thus can’t afford transport to the coastal strip. What should we do?
“Businesses might be growing but don’t know how to manage it, or they need assistance with distributing their products,” Cr Brennan said.
We want your feedback and invite you to make your views known and read the views of your fellow residents, at
Some site comments to date: “Let’s retain what’s left of our agricultural areas and let those people who want this lifestyle still have somewhere to live. No 400 sq m block of land for us!” – H&R.
“Resilient communities are often small communities, often based on cottage industries, creative arts, health and lifestyle and tourist-orientated businesses.” – IanBates.
“Specialised agriculture, food security, arts, holiday accommodation and ancillary tourism/eco-tourism must be the mainstays to the hinterland as they invest in local resources rather than squander them.” – Alf_alphamale.
What are your views? Do you agree? Or is your view a different one? Let us know by 6 October.
Council has also organised a series of community workshops, for which you can book online:
Maleny: Tuesday 27/09/11 7-9am, Maleny RSL, Bunya Street
Nambour: Wednesday 28/09/11 7-9am, Nambour Civic Centre, Centenary Square
Cooroy: Thursday 29/09/11 7-9am, Cooroy Hotel, Maple Street