“Stockland’s application for the environmental assessment of the Aura South site is a proactive step to prepare for our region’s future, particularly given we are in the midst of an extended housing crisis as our population is predicted to reach more than 500,000 in the next 18 years.
“We are at a tipping point that requires pragmatic, decisive regional leadership to ensure we are prepared for this growth and the estimated 70,000 additional houses needed by 2041. Right now, all options should be considered and we should be welcoming investors to the table who can help us facilitate sustainable, responsible growth to protect our enviable quality of life.
Master-planned communities like Aura have provided the most affordable, quality housing products for people on modest incomes and for essential key workers who are the backbone of the Sunshine Coast economy.
“The Aura South site appears to tick all the boxes when it comes to a development site given its limited environmental integrity. The site was cleared decades ago, it’s ex-plantation and flood free, and it has good access to the existing Aura infrastructure and the Bruce Highway. When we’re desperately looking for land, this parcel seems like an obvious choice for consideration, and we commend Stockland for starting this process.
“There are limited sites of this scale in the region and while Beerwah East has long been touted as a solution, my understanding is that there is currently still a 90-plus-year forestry lease on the property, so it would be good to understand what impact the premature termination of this lease would have on local industry and related jobs. It may be part of the long-term planning but it’s certainly not a stand-alone solution, potentially accounting for less than 30 per cent of the dwellings needed to deal with our growth and future employment opportunities.
“Aura has a well-established bike and public transport network, as well as a planned future rail station to service Aura’s Town Centre and surrounding communities. The location of Aura South being adjacent to Aura make it a logical extension to leverage existing and planned infrastructure.
“What we need right now, is to be open and supportive of exploring all options so we can make informed choices to address the region’s future needs.”