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The Projects Map includes other road improvement plans in the immediate area to 2036
Rotary Club of Caloundra
 
The Club has specific interest in Ben Bennett Park.  Councillor Bennett was our inaugural President, we have provided a picnic shelter, and have used the Park for milestone meetings.  The Club's 50th in 2004 and our 61st anniversary in 2015 are examples. Guests at our 50th included Rotary International past president Clem Renouf who continued to be a member of the RC of Nambour, who sponsored our club back in 1954 and was a close friend of Ben Bennett.  Clem initiated the Rotary project to eradicate polio.  (A couple of countries still on the "to do" list, but we are doing well)
 
Rotary's focus to date with the Wildlife Preservation Society was to lobby for management of the construction of the project such that any collateral damage to the park was minimised.
 
The Park conserves a transect of natural vegetation from ridge down to wallum plain.
 
Roger's Thoughts
 
As a conservation architect, my personal concerns were that there will be impact in a number of areas including the “backstreets” of Mayes Estate, the RSL Memorial Gardens, Pumicestone Creek, the row of post WW2 houses in Omrah Ave in addition to Ben Bennett Park. I acknowledge that none of these places are contained in Council's Heritage List.
 
I have listened to the concerns of the Ratepayers Association, who have been active in this area, and other groups including WPSQ, and new member Jim has experience in discussions with Council over design issues through OSCAR. Council has proceeded with resumptions I understand.
 
Pumicestone Creek may have archaeological interest. Caloundra’s underlying geology is sandstone, so when people came for the winter mullet migration, they brought in hard stone.  At the end of the last ice age, when sea levels rose 150m, coastal people retreated back to the current coastline.  There was a Bora Ring in what is now Leading Tce.
 
The Kabi Kabi consider Caloundra to be disturbed ground and the evidence not significant.  We may never get a full picture of how they lived, but what we can get is, I believer, important.  Subject to Kabi Kabi approval, there may be scope for some archaeological investigation if a scoping study confirms my suspicions.
 
The active active transport network could have been better considered, with pedestrian and cycling routes were planned to mirror the vehicle routes, whereas these users may prefer non road environments. The link to the industrial estate is useful, but the safety of an influx of bikes and small electric vehicles within the estate's existing road environment will need consideration. I agree with the concept of separating bike and pedestrian traffic. A study of desire lines for active transport to nodes such as the three schools in the area was needed.
 
Jim has been pushing for more adoption of telecommuting and car sharing
 
We share Council’s vision to have less traffic congestion, but while the population doubles every 20 years, the road network is unable to keep pace.
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The Aura development was planned around a new heavy rail link into the coastal area, and its current non-delivery is impacting traffic congestion.
 
I think that a coastal mass transportation system, combined with heavy rail, active transport, walking, cycling inc battery driven to local stations is the most sustainable way forward.  The CCTU will assist in the interim.
 
Acquiring the corridor for mass transport still needs to happen. It would be sensible to consider that in the planning even though it is a longer term project. The eventual technology may be a new system, such as robotic cars travelling cooperatively.
 
 
Community Discussion
 
Hi Roger
 
I have been given your email address by Prue.  My name is Anna, I am a resident at King's Beach, I am contacting you on behalf of Value Caloundra. We are having some events in Ben Bennett Park and Bicentennial Park to raise awareness about the road going through and damaging habitat and other impacts to the community. I was hoping you could promote the upcoming events amongst other rotary members. I have also sent this message via the 'contact us' section of the rotary website.  The first event is next week on Wednesday morning 8am-10am.
 
I would also like to invite anyone from the rotary group if they would like to speak at any of the upcoming events to those attending for a few minutes about the significance of the bushland park and peaceful surroundings, the legacy of conservation by Ben Bennett himself and how the road would impact on these.  If anyone is interested in doing this please let me know.
 
We are planning for casual events, providing an opportunity for concerned community members to meet up and learn from each other. The event on Saturday in Bicentennial Park will be more of a picnic style and we are hoping to plan a much bigger event in late January.

Please feel free to email me or contact me by phone 0402 769 601.

Kind regards,
Anna Sri

Dates:
Wednesday 15 Dec 2021 | 8-10 AM
Ben Bennett Bushland (Queen St entrance)

Saturday 18 Dec 2021 | 8-10 AM
Bicentennial Park (opposite Stockland)

Thursday 27 January 2022 | 8-10 AM
Ben Bennett Bushland (Queen St entrance)
 
 
Dear Rotary Caloundra, I wonder if there might be an opportunity to speak with someone from the Rotary about the proposed highway that will run through Ben Bennet Park? .Anna Campbell info.queenslandwalks.org.au
She notes the impact on local wildlife of close development
 
I've spoken to Anna, and the focus of her organization is active transport.  On looking at the movie, it appears that the pedestrian and cycling routes were planned to mirror the vehicle routes, whereas these users may prefer non road environments.  There was no evidence of consideration of desire lines for active transport to nodes such as the three schools in the area.
 
Wildlife Carer feedback notes the impact on local wildlife of close development.
 
Courier mail 13th Nov
 
From the Ratepayers Association:
Hi Everyone
Please find attached the draft Communique.  We need to work this as soon as we can, the timeframe is running out so please take a look and get back to Emma Rees, and me.  We had a final date of the 10th Oct as the doc must be submitted NLT 18 Oct.   We need as many groups and Associations on the letter as possible.    The document hits the spot really and we need as much support for it as possible. 
I am aware that the timeframe now is my fault but that now has been fixed, we think.
Regards Graeme
caloundraresidentsassociation@gmail.com
 
Caloundra Livability Alliance Draft Communique Caloundra Transport Corridor Upgrade (CTCU)
Value Caloundra Community agree that reducing congestion at Caloundra Road roundabout is important and therefore is not against the road in principle. However, the objective to reduce congestion must be balanced with other community and environmental values, and be consistent with the vision, values and intent outlined in the Caloundra Master Plan, and other key strategy documents.

The project needs to better address the following:

Protecting and strengthening of the values of Bicentennial Park, and Ben Bennett Park in line with key Council strategy documents and the Caloundra Master Plan intent, so that the future value of these spaces is enhanced by the project, and not degraded (as it currently appears to be).

The Sunshine Coast Council have been the trustees of Ben Bennett Bushland Park since 1969. The reserve was established due to the advocacy of Kathleen McArthur and Rotarian and Councillor, Ben Bennett. The Rotary Club Caloundra note that the park is “…. a haven of peace, only seldom abused” (Caloundra Rotary, n.d), and contains “…high biodiversity values including regional ecosystems and important habitat”. This road design is a significant departure from a legacy of preservation and protection and will severely abuse the habitat and resident species of the park.

"Quantifying the impact of a 4-lane road in the easement of the park is complex, but despite efforts to minimise impact, damage to the diverse set of ecosystems present, including (endangered) Lowland Rainforest, Melaleuca woodland, Eucalypt Woodland, and both Wet and Dry Heath, is inevitable."

The noise from the road will impact on the survival of frog, mammal, and avian species due to the negative impact of traffic noise on reproductive success and this noise can extend to a radius of up to 4km. Therefore, the road noise alone is likely to cause the exclusion of species from a habitat that has nurtured and sustained their survival.

The proposed alignment will impact on the ground water flow into the lagoon and possibly underground water table surrounding the lagoon and into the adjoining wet heath and wetland ecosystems.  Possibly also impacting on the long-term preservation of this critical habitat for native frogs (Aspland, 2021)

Road construction impacts the structure, stability, erodibility, porosity and permeability of soil and indirectly impact on the soil’s biological and chemical properties. These impacts can compromise, “…primary ecosystem function, hydrological cycles, nutrient movement and availability, and surface stability”

These soil-induced changes can affect plant growth and species diversity and composition and create an environment conducive to colonization by exotic species).

Improving the active transport connections around Caloundra, so that the vision that walking, cycling, and e-mobility become the dominant modes of transport for Caloundra residents to get around Caloundra, is brought closer to fruition.
The council claim that the CTCU will get people out of cars and promote walking and cycling (Sunshine Coast Council 2021). However, building a 4-lane road will promote car use, and make the area much less accessible for other users and impact negatively on liveability.

Theory of induced demand: Traditional traffic engineering theory is premised on the belief that, a street is congested because the numbers of drivers exceed the capacity, enlarging the street therefore eliminates congestions. Instead, 75 years of evidence demonstrates that what happens is that the numbers of drivers increase to match the increased capacity and congestion arrives in full force (induced demand)
Arterial roads are ‘pedestrian hostile’: Joe Cortright (2021), an economist explains how road infrastructure impacts on pedestrians.

"When we build a sidewalk along a busy arterial, or put in a traffic signal or some bollards, we may call it “pedestrian” infrastructure, but the only reason it’s actually needed is because of the presence and primacy of cars...any area that describes itself as a “corridor” is almost always an auto-dominated, pedestrian-hostile space, a place people travel through, rather than being in".

The design of this arterial will not provide for the needs of diverse members of the community including children, young people, the aged, the disabled, families, those unable to afford to own and run a car, and recreational users.

In a survey created to educate the Caloundra community about the road design, of 212 respondents, 63% of respondents stated that on the basis of the CTCU design, they would walk or ride less in the area.

The council promotes the 6 crossings with signals, as evidence of improved safety and amenity for pedestrians and cyclists (Sunshine Coast Council, 2021). However, the CTCU does not represent best practice for road safety because the concept design has numerous deficiencies.  The Safe System is the Nationally Endorsed approach to road safety and requires that road designers aspire to prevent crashes that could result in deaths or serious injuries. It is difficult to provide solutions on multi-lane roads, with strong pedestrian movements in perpendicular directions. The outcome will be increased delay and risk to most active transport users in this area.

The design does not meet minimum State Government road safety policy outcomes because it does not include crossings on all sides of two important intersections (Nicklin Way, Arthur St) and the design includes slip lanes. Slip lanes create an additional crossing for pedestrians and expose riders to unacceptable crash points at merge points.

The project provides high-quality pedestrian and cycle facilities in the east- west direction. However, main active transport movements are north-south. The project will make these north-south movements more difficult, with longer delays, two stage crossings and a lack of facilities on desire lines. This is likely to lead to greater safety concerns.

The design does not address desire lines around Caloundra Shopping Centre. Particularly between the bus stop on the north side of the road and the high school.
The project does not provide a pathway on the northern side of the new road through Ben Bennett Park. This creates significant severance between the park and the town. It is also means, anyone coming from the north, has to cross the new road twice (once on each side of the park).

Many of the pedestrian crossings on the new roads are two-stage crossings. Queensland research has found an average pedestrian crossing signal compliance of 84% on a single stage crossing and 48% for the second leg (DTMR, 2021). This suggests that less than half of pedestrians will wait at the new crossings. At some locations, these two stage crossings replace an existing zebra crossing.

Developing and delivering a robust community consultation process to effectively engage the broader community around:

the assessment to arrive at the concept design, including the need for 4 lanes versus 2, including in the context of other whole of system enhancements for the area
the detailed design to ensure the diverse range of needs and the best outcomes in terms of accessibility and liveability are considered as part of the detailed design.
The processes of consultation have not adequately educated and engaged the public to understand the current and desired future access to and use of the area to inform the design or understand and assess the diverse range of opinions about the design.

Council has repeatedly stated that they have consulted on the CTCU project.  The only quoted outcome produced, as far as we know, is that: “Public participation has indicated an understanding of the need for future transport planning and broad community support to reduce congestion and improve access.” This outcome relates to high-level objectives and does not demonstrate meaningful consultation on important decisions.
 
The CTCU project has progressed to compulsory acquisitions to build 4-lane roads before a meaningful and inclusive consultation process has been finalised on the concept design. It is likely that a 2-lane design would not require any compulsory acquisition. In failing to consult in a timely manner, the Council has failed to enact Principle C of the Local Government Act “democratic representation, social inclusion and meaningful community engagement”.
 
The CTCU project has failed to provide meaningful justification of the 4-lane solution to the community and has not made publicly available engineering reports, options analysis outcomes, community and environmental impact assessments, community engagement outcomes or a business case to justify the proposed solution and the extensive environmental and social impacts. In doing so they have failed to enact Principle A of the Local Government Act “transparent and effective processes, and decision-making in the public interest.”  It is unclear whether options to make improvements to multiple routes have been considered, not just comparing various options for a single road.  The Master Plan refers to multiple road network and other connectivity improvements. How this 4 lane road fits within or has been assessed as part of this broader system of improvements has not been made visible to the broader community.
 
The CTCU concept design proposes 4-5 lane roads through the urban village, precious central parklands, and remnant vegetation. Parks provide important shade, encourage walking and riding, reduce urban heat island effect, and provide mental relief for people in urban environments.  With increased housing density, easy access to such areas this will become increasingly important for liveability. The huge road capacity increases provide for the least sustainable traffic modes at the expense of many sustainability objectives. This is not consistent with the principle of the Local Government Act ‘sustainable development’. A smaller road project needs to be considered.
 
The CTCU concept does not reflect outcomes identified in the Caloundra Centre Master Plan designed to minimise impacts on areas with high social and environmental values. Specifically, to integrate the urban village with Central Park (4 lane road creates a major barrier), and to have no net loss of environmental values on Ben Bennett Park or footprint of Bicentennial Park. 
 
Council has failed to ensure an inclusive design solution (Principal C of LG Act). The areas affected by this project are used extensively by older people and children. Their movements, north-south across this road will become more difficult and less safe.
 
The consultation for the Caloundra Centre Master Plan (a key consultation source nominated by the project) was focussed on the business sector of the community.
Officers have informed decision makers and the public the road will ‘fail’ on opening if the road is not built to the plan developed. When a bridge fails, there is risk of collapse and life is threatened. When a traffic model fails, it fails to meet the ‘desirable’ standard of service. This means, some people need to wait a bit longer. It can be misleading to decision makers and the public to communicate traffic modelling outputs in this absolute and emotive language.