The Local Loop

Noosa councillor Amelia Lorentson

By Noosa Councillor Amelia Lorentson

At last week’s Ordinary meeting, I challenged councillors to be bold and brave, and to start thinking outside the bureaucracy box.

I put forward the proposal to trial turning Noosa Drive to Noosa Parade into a one-way street at Easter 2022 to encourage people to use buses or e-bikes and bring locals back to Hastings Street during peak times. Trial would be subject to business associations and other stakeholder approval.

What I said:

What’s the point of catching a free bus if it sits in traffic with all the cars?

Existing situation is a disaster! What have we to lose?

At zero, or little extra cost, we provide an upgraded 15-minute express service to Hastings St.

Total travel time from Noosa Junction to Hastings St could be as little as five minutes in the middle of Christmas holidays.

I also explained my reasons:

The only way we are ever going to take cars off the roads is by increasing bus usage and frequency.

The only way we can get locals back into Hasting Street during these peak periods is by giving them easy access.

In order to achieve our net zero emissions goal by 2026, Council must ‘support initiatives that accelerate community-led climate action’.

And finally, because the future is here and unless we start challenging the status quo and thinking differently, we will be left behind.

Albert Einstein said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

It follows, that if we want a different result, then we must start doing things differently.

Let’s find the easiest way to go from A to B and not the hardest way. Let’s treat this trial as an event, like the Noosa Tri, and not overcomplicate it with engineering reports and studies.

I believe that as councillors we have an obligation to our community to challenge the status quo, to do better and think bigger. Or at the very minimum, start the conversation.

We simply can’t get comfortable and ride the status quo if we are to move forward.

We must talk to our businesses and community and work with them to provide new solutions and new ways of doing things better. Not just in traffic management, but in business, in planning, in destination management. It’s the only way we change our future.

The motion although defeated, will be brought to a (councillor) workshop for further consideration.

(This is an opinion piece and statements made do not represent the views of Noosa Council).