Huge support for bay suburb plan

Published 5:00am 7 September 2023

Huge support for bay suburb plan
Words by Nick Crockford

Deception Bay Residents Group (DBRG) has received overwhelming support for its plans to help shape and unlock the suburb’s potential.

In just two weeks, community-led consultation on future development and ecotourism has been backed by both residents and business owners.

“We’ve had to schedule three more pop ups and respond to requests from businesses, teachers, church and community leaders about how they can get involved.” Yvonne Sylvia, spokesperson for DBRG, said.

Most agreed a neighbourhood plan for Deception Bay would be an authentic blueprint for future development and safeguard the suburb’s unique characteristics and qualities.

“Deception Bay is full of characters,” Ms Sylvia said. “Their savvy, community driven attitude challenges many long-held assumptions and stigmas unfairly levelled at them.

Huge support for bay suburb plan
The Bancroft baths at Deception Bay

“Many pop-up attendees wanted to know more about the vote for values activity and were really keen to add suggestions to the list of values.”

Vote for values was developed to raise awareness of how character and values are found in landscapes – and to gauge the community’s interest in more in-depth activities.

Traditionally, councils which undertake neighbourhood planning use architects, landscape planners and urban designers to report on how a community responds to its environment.

“Very few characteristics that make Deception Bay special are included in Council’s planning scheme,” Ms Sylvia said.

“We thought participants would think the vote for values activity was too dry and boring, as we used the Burra Charter, which provides the basic principles for conservation of Australian heritage places, as the inspiration for the activity.

“We were quickly shown just how sharp and up for it locals were with many continuing to discuss values and neighbourhood planning as a way to reimagine Deception Bay.”

Matters most important to local residents and businesses included:

• Being more involved in the decision-making process for their neighbourhood

• Fast tracking the development of a neighbourhood plan

• Protecting wildlife and wild habitats

• Maintaining their existing lifestyles

• Managing impacts from population growth

• Developing ecotourism in Deception Bay.

Huge support for bay suburb plan

Christopher O’Kane, who took part in the consultation, said: “All the elements for a booming ecotourism trade are here”.

“Being in hospitality for decades, foot traffic tells you quickly where money is being spent and what people want,” he said. “Café Bancroft will be an eco-historical themed cafe in Deception Bay.

“It will serve up unique coffee, local produce, and guided tours that showcase the intrigue and beauty of Deception Bay’s historic landscapes and natural wonders.”

Tourism and Events Queensland says visitors are prepared to pay for products and services with low travel miles and give back to the local community.

“Visitors to the $72 million Northlakes Eco Lifestyle Precinct would be amazed to find cultural heritage tours, charming roadside farm gates, guided habitat tours, and easy walking trails in national parks only ten minutes from the precinct,” Ms Sylvia said.

DBRG will continue consulting the community throughout September with an online survey and presentations to community groups.

To complete the Ecotourism for Deception Bay survey click here.

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