Project Overview

Council adopted the Environment and Liveability Strategy in September 2017 (ELS) to provide long-term strategic direction to guide growth and shape the Sunshine Coast for future generations to 2041.

Now in its 6th year of implementation, the ELS is being refreshed to ensure it remains future focused and continues to provide a contemporary approach.

We are seeking your input into the process to understand what you see as the emerging issues for the region and the priority actions to focus on to deliver on a healthy environment and liveable Sunshine Coast.

How you can get involved

We are seeking your feedback between 5 May-26 May 2023 via:

Next Steps

Council is now considering feedback received and a summary will be made available in late June 2023.

Phase 2 engagement for the ELS Refresh Project is proposed for approximately July 2023 prior to a draft Part A: Strategic Directions and Part B: Implementation Plan being presented to Council for consideration.

Project background

The Strategy

The Environment and Liveability Strategy is one of Council’s three regional strategies sitting alongside the Community Strategy 2019-2041 and Economic Development Strategy 2013-2033. The three strategies establish a long-term strategic and integrated platform that enables the region to approach the next 20 years in a positive and confident manner.

The ELS specifically provides long-term strategic direction to guide growth and deliver the transformational change required to maintain a healthy environment and liveable Sunshine Coast.

It provides a clear vision and forward plan, responding to four key drivers of change:

  • Increasing population
  • Changing climate
  • Economic growth and
  • Emerging technologies.

The Strategy has an integrated framework across 12 themes and 26 Transformational Actions to achieve multiple ecological, economic, and socio-cultural outcomes.

The ELS seeks to guide decision-making and actions that will continue to protect and respect the importance of the natural environment as the foundation for the Sunshine Coast way of life.

Strategy Structure

The strategy is based on three interdependent sections:

  1. The natural environment
  2. The environment we create – the built environment
  3. Living in the environment.
ELS Inter-dependant sections and 12 themes

Figure: ELS Inter-dependant sections and 12 themes

The ELS is structured in 3 parts:

1. Part A: Strategic Directions

2. Part B: 5-year implementation plan

3. Part C: Network Plan.

Part A and B are being refreshed as part of this project. Part C: Network Plan is intended to be reviewed in late 2024 to align with timelines of other key planning projects underway.

ELS Structure

Figure: ELS Structure

ELS Achievements

The strategy has delivered on a number of actions since adoption. The ELS Annual Reports found here will provide an overview of the achievement highlights including:

  • Becoming officially recognised internationally as a UNESCO Biosphere
  • Expanding our green spaces including new environment reserves and recreation parks
  • New community facilities to ensure we have great places and spaces
  • Proactive planning for the expected impacts of climate change
  • Delivering environment and sustainability activities programs many in partnership to ensure Sunshine Coast remains a great place to live.

What the community told us in 2017

Council undertook extensive consultation on the draft ELS in 2017. Feedback identified specific issues with managing continued population growth, retaining the positive aspects of the Sunshine Coast lifestyle and ensuring infrastructure keeps pace with growth and change. Comments also related to the challenge of implementing and achieving the desired aspirations articulated in the Strategy when confronted with the reality of balancing pressures of development while retaining the Sunshine Coast lifestyle.

The top five themes were:

  1. Retaining the distinct character
  2. Protecting natural assets
  3. Finding the balance
  4. Being sustainable
  5. Community involvement.