Blueprint Tamborine Mountain

 

 

 

 

Background information about the Blueprint and the community meeting of 6 October 2018 (see photo) can be found in this press release.
To contribute use the special form, to be found here. Contributions to the Blueprint are added as soon as possible after submission. Deadline for submissions extended till 25 October 2018. In the next stage the Blueprint-team* will compress all remarks and edit the Blueprint. Then the community will be involved in prioritizing all points.
Latest update: 20 October 2018.
Disclaimer: the ‘current’ version 1.0 of the Blueprint is a little bit of a hotchpotch, or, for canine lovers, a dog’s breakfast. The reason is that we include every submission and idea as much as possible without editing suggestions out of the document. The Team will consolidate and compress all statements for version 2.0.

  1. Environmental Quality

    1. The area of green space (nature, parks and urban green) should not be reduced from 2018. Tamborine Mountain is a “Biodiversity Hot-spot“. Green space should be expanded if possible, ideally with council purchasing suitable properties that have conservation value as public spaces. Main-made structures in natural environment should be limited to a minimum.
    2. TM should to be a Biosphere. Plans for the mountain should always include the benefit or threats to animals… not only the human perspective. Vision on the local environment should be embedded in a vision for the environmental qualities of the surrounding parks and rainforests as well.
    3. Tamborine Mountain (TM) remains a ‘biodiversity hotspot’ because of Tamborine National Park, 15 council parks (all largely maintained by local NGOs), and many well maintained, natural, private properties. With its 1.5 million visitors per annum TM is a very important tourist destination for a number of reasons including its environment. It needs to be kept that way by protecting all the natural features that remain on the plateau & escarpment of TM. This means no further residential development of any sort and no further tree clearing outside strict local by-laws.
    4. Descriptions like “Green Island in the Sky” and Green Behind the Gold” are the foundations for an unique set of environmental attractions our community could invest in. A not for profit organisation working with private landholders to develop nature based attractions; it is necessary to leave most of these places a little ‘wild’ so that the native wildlife can feel safe.
    5. The sign at the top of the Goat Track says Tamborine Mountain is a sanctuary. That sign should be added to all four access roads. The sign is a great reminder to care for our environment and the wildlife that live here.
    6. A “significant tree” register needs to be created
    7. Local nursery retailers should stock more local native species, as it is currently hard to source native plants, especially for owners of smaller blocks of land.
    8. Environment and Agriculture should be supported above Tourism. Because if it was not for the green spaces/farms etc the Mountain’s beauty would be compromised. The greenery is what tourists come here for – tourism ventures are not the draw-card.
    9. Support and encourage local production of fruit and vegetables, enhancing self-morale and health
    10. TM considers itself a country village amidst the rainforests, away from the rat-race, with great views to the West and supporting locally grown produce
    11. An ‘Environmental Code of Conduct‘ should describe how we as residents should act to preserve and enhance our environment; a group such as Landcare could draft something that would include preservation, regeneration, and protection, incl such things as use of pesticides.
    12. Being a rainforest wonderland in its original state that was “exploited” by a bunch of battling farmers in the early days, TM luckily avoided becoming another suburb, retaining good wildlife habitat as our annual Lyrebird surveys show.
    13. TM should be designated as a clean, green, eco community, with businesses focused on and leveraging from that. TM should be self sustaining and sustainable, leading the way and educating the world. Tourists should visit for that reason, not just for picnicking.
    14. Our lack of suburban features such as curb and channeling, reticulated water and sewage etc. are things that we need to preserve to limit the development that is happening everywhere else. No more curb and guttering, to avoid an even more ‘suburban’ look…. water soaks away almost immediately anyway.
    15. Maintain the Development Control Plan to protect against further developments; we need stricter restrictions on tree felling.
    16. Better protection, by legislation of the escarpment: stop logging, removing native trees, allowing building in slip-country.
    17. Tamborine Mountain should be identified as a separate area on the Town Plan, as it used to be
    18. Please consider Canungra, because the many residential developments will result in almost 300 new homes to Canungra. The draft planning scheme is also proposing to open up additional land on the western side of Beaudesert Nerang Road out to Benobble. Canungra is already at maximum capacity and the town bypass is not in the pipeline yet. These developments will impact Tamborine Mountain immensely. In Canungra the land along the creek embankments should be preserved.
    19. Works of art all over the mountain, carving of bower birds, pademelons, carpet snakes in different timbers, as well as avocado, Rhubarb, Kiwi fruit, reflecting what is on the mountain in art-form.
    20. The total population of Tamborine Mountain should be capped. A population and building approvals will preserve our aquifers from any increase in waste water and effluent that would be generated by increases to the Mountain population.  ‘9000’ is often mentioned as a “sustainable” population figure, but we need some serious research done about what kind of population IS sustainable. Local laws should limit the kind of business, construction, pollution and other things affecting the present and future life of residence.
    21. The SEQ Regional Plan foresees a population increase from 3.4 to 5.3 million, translating to a grow from 41,000 to 62,000 Scenic Rim residents (an extra 10,000 dwellings by 2041). These figures are just ‘a plan’, but the public sector finance will benefit from growth, changing the ‘plan’ into ‘a target’. It will put pressure on the mountain, and on council to allow more MCU applications. We need a council that will stand up against inappropriate development and is strong enough to pay for legal costs.
    22. Council needs to focus on enforcing compliance with approval conditions rather than approving DAs “with conditions” and hoping for the best.
    23. To protect the Mountain from the relentless onslaught of purchasers who see the area as the route to a fast buck via subdivision or development which is not in line with the Planning Scheme, we need to take a firm stance. I suggest that, from an arbitrary date – say 1/1/2020 – there be no further approvals of subdivisions, secondary dwellings or buildings to be used as AirBnBs
    24. Currently, Tamborine Mountain allows dual living on some properties. However, in some cases the ability to build an additional dwelling is restricted. On the other hand, siting of houses in unsuitable areas (too close to forests and creeks) or in shady locations unsuitable for solar power generation is encouraged. Housing unaffordability is another major issue, especially in older populations (like TM). Therefore people should be allowed to build and rent out an additional dwelling on their properties, and tiny houses on wheels should be permitted on all properties. (Council has no regulation on this, but they would treat them as BnB). If we allow renting granny flats etc to anyone, or renting of our driveway to someone in a tiny house – while meeting environmental standards and waste water management – we can help to fight housing unaffordibility. Tamborine Mountain could be one of Australia’s first tiny house friendly towns!
    25. The Planning Scheme of the Council should clearly state the differences between the different towns and regions of the Council. The GCC has included in its planning schemes separate sections for each suburb, to emphasize the features and challenges for each separate suburb, rightfully accepting differences. The currently presented Planning Scheme only accepts Bromelton as individual suburb, the rest of the shire is considered as homogeneous. The Council considers differences as weaknesses, where they are strengths.
    26. Contrary to the ‘one size fits all’ principle of the new planning scheme, we have to acknowledge that we are different from the rest of the shire. Among other fields, this in particular applies to arts.
    27. We need legislative recognition by State & Local Gov. of the need to protect and enhance the biodiversity values of Tamborine Mountain. Local government should continue to support this with knowledge and skills to reduce pest plant species on public and private lands and to manage effectively for native plant regeneration. Property owners (including Council and QPWS) who have an excessive amount of invasive weeds on their property should be required, at their own expense, to remove them or be fined. Pets should be restrained and legislation should help to contain the impact of domestic cats. We need to educate ourselves about reducing the impact on the environment (Round-up) and about appreciating our environment.
    28. More funds need to be available to assist private land holders in weed management and revegetation. Road verges is an effort to eradicate the Privet infestation over most of the Mountain involving both government and private land. Plans have already been developed. More property holders should participate in Land for Wildlife and Nature Refuge programs and be assisted in their attempts to create more wildlife habitats through grants and educational workshops
    29. Our infrastructure should support sustainable living, a healthy lifestyle, recreational facilities, conservation of flora and fauna and integrated parks. Street-scaping should include garden barriers and street furniture; wildlife crossing are expensive, but deserve consideration. Encourage “hedge rows” and “post and rail” fencing, as both were the part of our old Town Plan specific to Tamborine Mountain. The installation of “art” fixtures versus natural environs/views needs to be weighed up more carefully before installation and not be intrusive, dominant or detracting.
    30. Allow small, downward pointing lights on Gallery Walk and Main Street at night to increase safety and vivid appearances of those locations at night.
    31. We need to maintain low levels of light pollution; no extra street-lighting; noise levels can be too high during events and deserve better regulation and monitoring
    32. Locals should deliver guided walks, educational walks, landscape painting classes and many more nature-based activities to visitors and locals. Day workshops for visitors about photography and bird watching are also options.
    33. More accessible nature parks and reserves with better signage; provide BBQ facilities at entrances to National Parks, as well as better traffic/parking control. Tracks in the NPs need to be maintained and upgraded.  The 15 council parks managed and regenerated by Landcare are now at the stage of being suitable for public access with reasonable walking tracks; these should have appropriate signage. The large Energex offset project on The Shelf Road also has potential for a good natural public space.
    34. We need more points with views to the East and the West, with picnic and/or BBQ facilities.
  2. Energy Efficiency
    1. A plan needs to be developed to supply 60% of the power of Tamborine mountain with renewable energy by 2030
    2. In addition to the main power network which will act more and more as a backup network, a local ‘mini grid’ needs to be developed. The local mini grid should use solar, as many of us would like to put solar, but our houses are too shaded.
    3. Renewable energy options including solar, biochar, water-driven and wind need to be investigated
    4. The community should support the Community Owned Renewable Energy (CORE) concept
    5. When building a mini-grid the power lines should be below ground: it looks better and is much more resilient than the current above ground system.
    6. We should embrace and endorse electric vehicles by providing electric charging points (from renewable energy sources) for locals and visitors.
  3. Water, sewerage and waste

    1. The council needs to regulate town water supply in the sense that local supply from bores, as back up of roof water, always has the highest priority. Deals need to be made with local suppliers to make sure that the prices are as low as possible. The present licensing of water extraction from bores on the mountain needs to re-evaluated, and if necessary, permission to extract commercially should be challenged and withdrawn. Water is a natural and shared resource and sale of water should not be managed privately but by local government.The policy needs to be based in science, by monitoring the ground water levels. There should be no further approvals for water extraction for any purpose; even in dry periods, it is not the water that is in short supply but rather the availability of water carriers. Tamborine Mountain should be excluded from any provision for Commercial Water Extraction.
    2. Local groundwater should not be seen as a regular supplement to household tank water. Water is a finite resource and should be treated as such. Residents need to learn to conserve water.
    3. TM values the system of relying on rainwater and ground water for drinking water supply: a healthy resource without fluoride and chloride.
    4. The existing “minor public water utility” should be purchased/contracted by council/QUU to develop a service to at least some areas of the mountain. Major extractors on the mountain do not come close to extracting to the limit for which they have approval, so why would there be a need for any further “Minor Public Utility” approvals, which have a tendency to be used as stepping stones to greater volumes of extraction. If someone can make money from water, a natural resource, it should be council instead of a private company. That only for the supply and benefit of local residents. 
    5. No new licenses will be handed out for commercial water extraction (except for point 3.1).
    6. Free springwater bubbler (like in Rome)
    7. Reticulated sewerage System & sewerage treatment plant, as well as a town water service. A local sewage treatment plant would help to deal with the large tourism volume.
    8. Definitely NO to reticulated town water and/or sewerage system. Such an infrastructure investment would inevitably lead to gross over-development.
    9. An audit of sewer systems, because too many old systems putting sewerage into creeks and stink; the water in Cedar Creek for instance is polluted in this way. Old systems should be phased out, to be replaced by approved HSTP systems. Our aquifers are presently at risk of contamination in some areas and overflowing smelly septic trenches pose a health hazard. A time line should be established to complete the transition to more environmentally acceptable waste water treatment solutions with provision for rate reduction and/or subsidies.
    10. Regular large waste curb-side pickups
    11. Soft plastic recycling collection per household might be nonviable, but we do need a collection point for this at the council refuse tip.
    12. Waste transfer / tip open 7 days/week
    13. Larger works crew stationed at TM Council Depot
    14. Householders be given the option annually to nominate the number of bin collections and be charged accordingly; different bin colours can be used
    15. Provide a green waste bin collection service
    16. If we are to be recognized, identified or branded as a “green community”, we should aim for a totally plastic free environment (paper bags only)
    17. Ban sale of plastic water bottles. Brand biodegradable bottle and sell for $2 – and have water stations in shops to fill. More on: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2009/jul/09/australian-bottled-water-ban The small town of Bundanoon, New South Wales (Australia) enacted such a ban in 2009 and was the first town to do so anywhere. The University of Vermont (UVM) in Burlington became the first public college to enact such a ban. As of late 2016, 82 high schools, colleges and universities across the world have implemented bottled water bans on their campuses. Municipalities have also banned bottled water from their facilities, such as the city of San Francisco, California.
  4. Infrastructure
    1. Gallery Walk is presently tacky and an eyesore. ( e.g. the inappropriate “castle” which should at least have creeper grown over it to make it even slightly acceptable. And the garish bright colours on certain buildings). Master plans for the Gallery Walk, created by Council in both 2000 and again in 2010, should finally be used to DO something. The makeover should dispel the local perception (and probably the visitor perceptions) that TM (gallery walk) is retail, commercial, and only for short term visitor use. It has a vital tourism role, but it can also represent the Mountains values. A management plan needs to be put in place that includes reducing the impact of vehicles on the local roads, more parking for cars and buses, the Cook road by-pass and a safer environment for pedestrians (or an entirely pedestrian zone). An over-arching Gallery Walk Development Plan should be developed and apply to all current and future landlords. For instance, the difference between Montville’s commercial centre and ours is sadly too clear: it’s the difference between planning and chaos.
    2. GW needs to include significant increase of trees in that street: the mountain is green, so should the main tourism center be. The guide to improve GW is to make it attractive for locals: the business owners have to, and want to work with the local community to turn that precinct into something to be adored, embraced and valued: make it green!
    3. No ‘no parking’ signs at Gallery Walk.
    4. The Gallery Walk plan needs to include management of ‘overload’: what to do when too many people visit at once?
    5. If ‘beautification‘ projects are executed, more local natural materials should be used instead of for instance concrete and artificial grass. Beautification should not lead to losing even more car-parks. With more community input the Main Street project could easily have been much more green, and far less concrete.
    6. We have below standard public facilities and infrastructure compared to others in Scenic Rim. Why do we pay an extra local government tax called “infrastructure charge” for which we have no idea what it truly pays for?
    7. We need more public toilets for locals and visitors alike.
    8. Gallery Walk toilets should be “user pays” – not a drain on the Council funds which are derived from ratepayers – primarily residential ratepayers – who do not benefit from tourism
    9. We need more public restrooms. Amenities, as well as footpaths and parks access for disabled children. Toileting, medicating, cleaning and feeding a disabled child is not only challenging for the parent, but also embarrassing for the child if no services are available. The foreseen new playground has none of these services: it is, essentially, a lack of dignity. A single unisex toilet with disabled access, changing facilities and an outdoor sink is all it would take. 
    10. Zebra crossings by the school (markets), the showgrounds and the hang gliders.
    11. 50 kmh speed limit on the entire Mountain to help save the Wildlife.
    12. Reduction in heavy vehicle movements, including the size and number of school buses
    13. Better curb & channeling for stormwater drainage;
    14. Public transport needs to get a place in the traffic management, for local residents, students and visitors to the mountain. Even if it was for 2 return runs per day, or better: four. An hourly service, 7 days/week will draw many tourists to this transport, free-ing the roads from the current cars-overload. Preferred destination of a bus-service: Helensvale station (because of light-rail connection) or Nerang (because that avoids using the congested M1). It would serve locals as well as visitors (many people feel uncomfortable driving at unknown locations). Bus should allow taking bikes. Input by politicians or officers from the State could help to shape a project for this. Our local member should be crucial in this process.
    15. ‘ON mountain’ public transport is needed for elderly and non-driving locals; connected to the off-mountain service. Hop on – hop off, for instance.
    16. A Cable way transversing a suitable path to a location on the Mt. does not have negatives, only positives for Tamborine Mt. It reduces coach traffic & parking, accommodates tourists numbers without increasing traffic congestion and pollution. It even may be a emergency way in the event of road closures due to bush fire, accidents or damage from extreme wet weather. Business owners may want to invest in the project by purchasing shares.
    17. We need not surrender to the pressure to allow population growth; in addition no efforts should be started to expand tourism industry (incl. a cableway).
    18. A connected pedestrian/cycling network is required to provide opportunities for local workers and students to use the bicycle to get to and from work/school; the same network can be used to improve nature-based tourism opportunities, connecting all national and local parks. And it should connect the three main shopping centers. One should be able to safely do shopping by cycling or walking. Should extend at the South end to Henri Roberts Drive and include Boardwalk / eco footpath from Witches Falls to the Hangliders lookout.
    19. A special bicycle track from and to the mountain would reduce the danger currently experienced by both bikers and car-drivers on the main roads
    20. Create a bush walking track around the entire mountain, linking the plateau and the escarpment.
    21. For safety in case of big wildfires two roads need to be connected: Long Rd and Normandie Court (Long Road extension) and the unmade roadway between Main Western Road/White Rd intersection and Main Western Road. This is also needed to deal better with traffic on busy days.
    22. We need risk assessment of bush fires, especially in times of very limited rainfall. The assessment needs to be published widely in the community
  5. Local economy, incl. rates

    1. A economic vision/plan needs to be written that includes targets on jobs, tourism numbers and tourism accommodation. The focus should be to make better what we’ve got, instead of creating new precincts/features.
    2. The local economy should benefit much more than currently from visitors to the mountain: both in transport and guidance of tourists local businesses should be better involved.
    3. If we want to maintain a thriving local community, then we need a healthy, employment-providing local industry. Given history and location, tourism will always play a central major role in that. And that is a major asset. TM celebrates its local businesses because of their locality, charming presentation and local flavours: for locals and visitors alike, it’s all about the feeling of escaping ‘the the country’ with a rejuvenating atmosphere. Defining the main qualities of this image is central to the Blueprint, and to the choices we need to make locally.
    4. Support local business to promote Xmas in July by providing street decorations.
    5. We need to be RV friendly, by having a dump site for waste up here; would be good for people in tiny houses as well.
    6. Even with a generous estimate of 15% of all jobs, tourism is not ‘the engine of the economy’: the ‘over 7000 residents’ are the engine. Tourism is free riding on the back of forests and views; it doesn’t drive them. Given that Agriculture is the shire’s top employer, tourism promotion should focus on agri-tourism.
    7. Future job growth will be in skilled service industries and lifestyle property. That is not to diminish tourism but tourism needs to survive on its own by specialising, not by asking Council to attract more tourists.
    8. Councils all over Australia (been there, seen it) spent lots of funds to support local tourism industries: in many cases it is their last life-line. The support by Council for the local tourism industry on TM has been next to zero. With the mountain having its own Local Tourism Organisation it is necessary for local government to take that industry seriously, and put many more managerial and financial resources to support that industry much better, and in a sustainable way.
    9. The TM image should be unified under a common brand / image: a sort of ‘mission statement’ that encapsulates the value systems of the Mountain and its residents. The current ‘Green behind the Gold’ would serve us well as it is descriptive and already has brand recognition.
    10. The financial inequity of rates on the Mountain must be considered, as well as the inability of council to exist without our revenue. TM represents 19% of the population but contributes 24% of the revenue. This IN-equity undergoes a further blow when it is realised that the return of Services provided is far below par compared to the region. 
    11. It is not reasonable to expect a return of 24% in investments from the Council, even if 24% of the rates is contributed. The system works in a different way: wealthier people contribute more to Medicare, wealthier communities contribute more to Council budgets. It is important to define what is reasonable to expect from ‘invested’ rates.
    12. Principle of equity implicates that parcels of similarly valued land which are used for the same or similar purposes and receiving similar services, should be levied similar general rates. Local governments must be mindful NOT to take into account the ‘capacity of the owner of land’ to pay rates: having ‘the capacity to pay’ is NOT allowed. Decisions and actions must consider the dignity and rights of each individual ratepayer to be considered to be fair, which does not necessarily mean treating everyone the same. The Differential Rating mechanism also needs to be re-implemented, in order to ensure that we receive Services with relatively Identical price tags as extended to other parts of the region.
    13. Council should implement the ‘Equity-principle’: the intentional commitment to strategic priorities, resources, respect and civility, and ongoing action and assessment of progress towards achieving specified goals.
    14. The return on rates should in line with the payment of rates; there is no need for one section of the shire subsidizing the rest. Every mountain property is being gouged of the order of $800 to $1000 a year in rates more than the towns of Beaudesert or Boonah
    15. TM should demand a greater proportion of rate revenue be spent here (on sensible stuff not involving Mr Mongard)
  6. Community
    1. Tamborine Mountain deserves a community arts and interpretive centre to display and sell local art, books etc and to display information about TM with an educational emphasis on the importance and wonder of local biodiversity. The current library could be converted into a local artists’ gallery space run by TMAC if the Library goes to the former IGA. The Center should allow locals to display their works.
    2. Do NOT grow the public schools any larger. This should not be an export industry shipping people in from afar up the roads and through the local community. Tamborine Mountain High School’s, and the Primary Schools’, catchment areas should mainly be just on the Mountain as the roads are not ideal or safe enough for extra heavy vehicle usage.
    3. People at the age of late highschool don’t feel any reason to stay on the mountain and leave. It should be considered how to make the mountain attractive for people of every age group. Also, older students should be involved in the Blueprint-drafting.
    4. Canungra State School is at maximum capacity & presently the catchment for high school studies is for these students to attend Tamborine Mountain High. Is this the plan?
    5. Tamborine Mountain needs to be connected to state of the art internet and mobile phone network; a super fast 100mbps internet network; this would enhance lifestyle as well as bringing a more educated and intellectual demographic to the mountain, and associated wealth and disposable income to support local businesses. Fix the current black spots.
    6. Health service providers are acutely aware of Tamborine Mountain’s unique isolated position as the plateau, making access challenging. TM has no hospital, no x-ray facility and no public transport to allow patients easy access to these facilities off the mountain. The mountain roads are challenging for timid or aging drivers. The pharmacies have limited after hours opening. Managing patients on a daily basis with these limitations of access is very challenging. Government grants to help provide services, in the way of rural loadings for billings and services, have been helpful.
      The changing of the Government assessment of Tamborine Mountain under the new Monash Model is a real concern. As of mid next year Tamborine Mountain will no longer be considered rural, but urban, same as Southport or central Brisbane. We will lose the rural grants which have enabled us to provide the service we have been providing at the same level. The local surgery will also have less choice regarding training of registrars and maintaining a good supply of doctors, as currently it can support overseas trained doctors who are committed to work in rural areas for 10 years. The current GP trainees are also on a rural pathway, so this will change the nature of the trainees who would be then wanting to be suburban GP’s rather than rural.
      The rating probably can’t be changed, but each service affected by it can apply for an exemption.
    7. The current zoning MMM1, under the Monash Model, needs either to change to rural, or the burden this classification brings to health care and art funding needs to be compensated by Council.
    8. The aged care facility as well as overall medical services should be increased to be able to meet with the needs that will arise by 2030; encourage and incentivize development of further aged care facilities on the mountain. It is important to keep families on the mountain. The facility could potentially be a community owned business
    9. Stage 2 of the Sportground needs to be implemented
    10. Larger public pool, heated, all year round usage; pool needs upgrading. Also evening openings for people who like a swim at night.
    11. Better sporting facilities with clear directional & facility signage (we currently have 2 sports facilities on opposite sides of the mountain known as “Tamborine Mountain Sports Centre”);
    12. The sport grounds need to be better used, with festivals, the future observatory (?), cultural activities and for instance a playground.
    13. Larger library with modern data / meeting/function room facilities, possibly in the former IGA. 
  7. Other topics
    1. The big picture: Four big goals should be Care for Nature, stop Climate Damage, fix our democracy and transform our economy.
      Self regulation and letting the market decide what is best for the long run of the Mountain clearly is allowing a lot of inappropriate development. This requires more engagement by visionary and brave town plans. The mountain has become just another property speculators paradise (note the huge choice of real estate agencies. True altruism is required to fight for a governance that has integrity as the basis for planning and decision making .
    2. The Blueprint should start with some over-arching principles of our vision of the future of TM. This could also be called the ‘Tamborine Mountain product’ and sets the frame work for the blueprint. For instance, if this product is ‘green’, then maybe a cable car won’t fit, but locally organised night-walks would. These choices have to start at the overall vision.
    3. The pieces of the Blueprint need to fit together like a puzzle designed by ourselves. The identity or image we promote  should relate to our environmental concerns in every aspect of our lives – work, play, study, live, eat. Living on, or visiting Tamborine Mountain should be defined by a particular range of green ideas and activities. The environmental philosophy supports the economy/commercial/business philosophy and visa versa. And most important, the community supports the overall activities of the mountain and the overall activities of the mountain support the community. Terms like “product” and “brand” should be used when referring to business or economics, and words like “dream” , “identity”, “goal”,  “image” for our overall image. All philosophical points made in the Blueprint should go together in an introduction.
    4. The Blueprint needs to have an agreed, overarching statement concerning the values residents hold dear, are prepared to defend, and the character of the mountain that is to be promoted to visitors. The items under the various topics can then be assessed to (a) ensure they are consistent with the statement of values and (b) enable the more important items to be given priority. Such a statement will assist in ensuring the coherence of the blueprint across all the topics.
    5. The Blueprint should focus on the future, but by looking back we identify mistakes and should avoid these to be repeated. One example is a footpath planned between the Hang gliders site and the Polish Place: the funds acquired for that we spent by Council on the toilet block, leaving the footpath in limbo. It’s important to make plans, allocated funds and then follow up.
    6. Next steps: Councils are often restricted by limitations set by State Governments. To convert the points in this Blueprint to reality, it will be needed to consult in time with the State government.  We have to be clear about what we as a community want, and find support for that at different levels of government. Undemocratic bodies like the Council of Mayors have much more influence than they should have and their power needs to be taken into account. Our first focus  of the Blueprint-process should be the State, not the local Council
    7. Members of the community need to be willing to rethink and reshape the boundaries we all have, particularly in imaging the future. For example, the idea of a cable car up the mountain causes shudders and rumblings, but it really needs to be considered as ONE option to transportation, not only of people TO the mountain, but for people ON the mountain who lack their own way to go down for medical services, shopping or whatever cannot be taken care of locally. Another example of rethinking boundaries is why do we need to align ourselves with neighbouring towns: why not towns with similar dreams – such as Montville, Maleny, Stanthorpe come to mind. Why let the government define us by putting us in a group. We should form our own governing group of like-minded people.
    8. The blueprint should have a “delivery plan”, as legislated for all Councils in NSW (each requires a 10 year Community Plan, which is essentially the Blueprint). Main points of the Blueprint should finally end up in Planning Schemes to give them the power of law.
    9. The vast number of submissions in the current Community Plan concerning the Mountain was dumbed down to a generic one size fits all document that ticks off the legislative requirement in the Local Government Act but does nothing substantive or shaped to recognise the uniqueness of our Mountain.This Blueprint needs to have formal status.
    10. In the next stage of the Blueprint process (weighing all items) both the ‘need’ and ‘realistic expectations’ should be considered as well (eg. sewage processing might be high in ranking for some people but is – realistically – not achievable). We need to avoid the risk that ‘practical hurdles’ will overwhelm the vision. Some issues may well be achievable using means not yet tabled, like crowd funding, grant or community funding; it is not only about council policies. Small successes will breed bigger successes.
    11. Many efforts to get things changed on the mountain were never achieved. There is a lot of experience on the mountain with these processes. For this Blueprint to be successful we need to think outside the box, and find creative ways to get our way. And we can make changes happen…. it’s just a matter of believing in that option.
    12. This blueprint needs to be a ‘living document’: it needs to reach as many people, groups and organisations (incl. schools) as possible; as many people as possible should participate. For schools, this community experience in producing a blueprint may be learning tool for teachers to use that could elicit positive responses, ‘buy in’ by local kids and families, and good ideas that could be incorporated
    13. In the next process of the Blueprint, specific groups should be consulted using adjusted versions of the Blueprint for each group: elderly people, children, young families, indigenous people etc. Also in the second stage the focus should still be on getting input’…. the Team asking questions to the community, ‘per subgroup’. It will not only be useful and challenging, but also necessary to get active input from younger people. In addition, people will only protect what they understand: therefore it is essential to teach our children about the values of the natural environment and of the need to protect those values. Young people need to be included in the next stage of the Blueprint development.
    14. Individual interviews with locals could provide ‘deeper’ information than can be gathered in anonymous questionnaires.
    15. The Blueprint should be written focusing on services for local people: health care, alternate and traditional medical treatment, care for children, care for the elderly, care for the sick (mental and physical illness) and infirm. How can this type of human and economic activity be encouraged? If this becomes part of our identity, then people with interest and skills will move here to provide these services. Yoga retreats, camps for children with disabilities, camps for parents with children with disabilities, nature retreats, camping parks with activities to enjoy and learn about nature. Open farms for teaching farming skills. Camps for adults or families who want to camp, but have no experience in doing it. The best way forward is to further develop existing facilities, like the Beacon Road precinct and Thunderbird Park.
    16. Local government: A position as a Councillor should not be seen as a job performed for the remuneration but rather a service performed for one’s community.
    17. In order to ensure that the “integrity (environmental & ANY other)” within the divisions of council is preserved it is essential that – at Council meetings – a certain level of “Divisional Autonomy” be applied and so “forge” decisions that are palatable for the ratepayers within that division but do not impact negatively on Residents in ANY of the other divisions.So, this mechanism to be applied ONLY when the decisions invoked do not set a “Precedent” with flow-on effects with the potential to cause undesirable (to those Residents) impact within other parts of the Shire. An example being the height of the sign at the proposal of the new Shell Service station re-development was enforced by other councillors thereby over-ruling the wishes expressed by the residents of Div-I via their Councillor(s). Consideration should be given to make this part of the “Rules of Conduct” of Councillors.
    18. Council should “consult” with ratepayers before finalising plans, instead of the current situation with fake-consultations ‘after the fact’. “Consultative surveys” should be part of the process, always verifiable and made public (especially when council claims ‘broad support in the community’. All Council meetings should be open (privacy of individuals can be respected and hidden when necessary). The public’s ‘right to know’ takes precedence over closing information. For example, the choice of a new CEO deserves community input. Council’s right to spend up to $100,000 without explanation and public support should be challenged. In the case of a vote on specific local issues or plans, the councillor(s) from that area should have the sole vote or at least a higher valued vote.
    19. Not the ‘availability’ of potential State/federal grants should guide changes, but the need for those changes.
    20. To encourage community-wide acceptance and commitment, it will be crucial that all relevant community groups (Lions, Community Care, Landcare and all the rest) are consulted and their representatives are given proper opportunity to contribute, based on their expertise and knowledge of their sphere of activity. Only thus will the blueprint have credibility.
    21. Indigenous people need to play an active role in this Blueprint; that could be done by sharing a vision in the form of ‘a story about the future we envision and wish to create’.

* The Team currently includes Bob Minneken, Peter Rea, Richard and Cheryl Wistow, Gordon Chalmers, Jenny Peat, Alison Rip, Hilary Furlong and Jaap Vogel. Hillel Weintraub and Howard Stephens have volunteered to be included as well.