Protesters gather at Alexandra Headland Beach to oppose the M2M cycleway. Photo: Eden Boyd
Protesters gather at Alexandra Headland Beach to oppose the M2M cycleway. Photo: Eden Boyd

Community group fears number fudging on feedback

The Department of Transport and Main Roads has assured the community will have a say in the revised designs of a controversial coastal bike path.

The assurance came after a key community group founded to fight what it considered an inappropriate design raised concerns about the way data had been presented from public consultation mid-last year.

The Beach Matters, a group founded to fight against what it considered an inappropriate proposal for a new cycleway from Maroochydore to Mooloolaba, raised concerns about the Department's presentation of data collated from consultation held last year.

'Writing on the wall': Community fears consultation censor

Coast suburbs rated and slated: See the full list here

In a flyer published by the Department, it collected neutral and positive feedback to the stage 6, 1.2km stretch from Alexandra Headland to Maroochydore.

In the summary of feedback the Department noted 55 per cent of feedback had been neutral or positive about the preferred design, despite a graph in the flyer showing a breakdown of the figures.

A snapshot of stage six of the M2M Cycleway, connecting coastal areas of the Sunshine Coast.
A snapshot of stage six of the M2M Cycleway, connecting coastal areas of the Sunshine Coast.

Of the 1159 pieces of project feedback only 260 were positive, while 375 were neutral and 524 were negative.

"The feedback categorised as 'neutral' included inquiries and general suggestions that did not demonstrate opposition to the project," a Department of Transport and Main Roads spokesman said.

The Beach Matters spokeswoman Rachael Bermingham earlier this week expressed concern at the way the data had been put together and presented, and questioned why they hadn't presented the breakdown of all three types of responses in the summary.

She also questioned the breadth of feedback being sought and claimed the Department had manipulated the feedback with the presentation of the summary.

Ms Bermingham said the group was concerned about how they would be included in the revised design process.

Sunshine Coast community protesting the Mooloolaba to Maroochydore cycleway. Picture: Patrick Woods
Sunshine Coast community protesting the Mooloolaba to Maroochydore cycleway. Picture: Patrick Woods

The Department spokesman a revised design would be developed "in consultation with stakeholder groups and the community".

"The process and the engagement methods for future phases of consultation are still being determined," the spokesman said.

"TMR remains committed to working with the community on the project.

"All key stakeholders and the wider community will be invited to participate in future rounds of consultation."

Ms Bermingham indicated the Beach Matters group would continue to push for significant inclusion in the revised design process.



Coffs falls short on renewable energy, emissions targets

Premium Content Coffs falls short on renewable energy, emissions targets

Despite ambitious goals, pandemic delays Council’s solar aspirations.

EARLY MARK: RFS call time on bushfire danger period

Premium Content EARLY MARK: RFS call time on bushfire danger period

Mid North Coast gets an extra month to light up after summer soaking

NOT GUILTY: Man accused of violent kidnapping walks free

Premium Content NOT GUILTY: Man accused of violent kidnapping walks free

A Coffs man has been exonerated after a service station worker was tied up...