Mount Coolum climbers and the local community will soon be able to have their say on the management of Mount Coolum National Park and plans for the provision of visitor amenities.
Member for Maroochydore Fiona Simpson said the Minister for Environment had confirmed that the long-overdue update of the Mount Coolum National Park Draft Management Plan would soon be released for public consultation.
Ms Simpson has been asking the Minister to update the 1998 plan to ensure all issues, including the need for public toilets and parking, are addressed to protect the iconic tourist attraction.
Ms Simpson has also called for the draft plan to be made available for the public to read and have their say.
“I want to make sure this special area stays beautiful so that tourists and locals alike can continue to enjoy visiting Mt Coolum,” Ms Simpson said.
“That’s why I’ve been lobbying the Minister to release the draft plan for pubic consultation and to provide funding to improve the amenities needed for the thousands of visitors to the summit track every year.
“I am pleased that the Minister has finally announced that the draft plan will soon be released for public consultation, although we are still awaiting a date.
“Upgrades to the upper summit trail are currently underway and this part of the track is closed from 7am-5pm on weekdays until work is completed in November.
“However, the need for public toilet facilities still needs to be urgently addressed because asking mums, dads and kids to walk another 1.8 km from the car park to the nearest public toilet after they’ve done a return trip to the summit clearly isn’t acceptable.”
Ms Simpson said that around 150,000 people a year (or 400 people a day) visit this major attraction, which is much more than in 1998, when the management plan was prepared.
“Local residents and visitors to the park want better facilities, including public toilets, to ensure this precious environment is being protected,” Ms Simpson said.
“The nearest public toilets are nearly 2km away and local residents are tired of visitors to the National Park going to the toilet in their gardens.
“I want to ensure Mt Coolum National Park can continue to be enjoyed for generations to come.
“There is also a need to look at improving the walking tracks to improve access and take pressure off some areas.”