CCIQ Noosa presents world-class centre options to Council

Wednesday 4 May, 2016

CCIQ Noosa has backed a world-class Convention Centre and adjoining Performing Arts Complex for the high-profile Sunshine Coast tourist destination.

Study chairman and past Tourism Noosa Director Rick Cooper and local chamber president Peter Chenoweth have presented a pre-feasibility study paper to new Noosa Mayor Tony Wellington outlining what small business wants for the region.

Mr Chenoweth said not just one building, but adjacent centres could be a “game-changer” for Noosa and bring in millions of much-needed tourist and business tourism dollars.

“The document does not recommend one facility with dual purposing but two distinct and complimentary centres operating independently but cooperatively,” he said.

“It is intended to promote the commissioning and completion of a professionally executed feasibility study into the location, construction and operation of a dedicated convention centre with a 1000 theatre-style seating capacity and a 700-seat dedicated performance centre on the same site.

“In effect, over the next decade, we ‘own’ and make business events and arts – a Noosa Industry. To do this we need unique, world-class facility.

“The development of a state-of-the-art performance, visual arts, convention and exhibition centre within stand-alone and distinct operations contained within an architecturally iconic building.

“The aim is to create a cultural and business-tourism hub in central Noosa to refocus the Noosa Brand for innovation, creativity and style.”

Mr Chenoweth said this significant infrastructure project would also bring a much-needed range of business and employment opportunities for Noosa.

Study chairman Rick Cooper said Noosa Council had sought creative and out-there projects from the business community and residents.

“The Noosa economy is driven 70 per cent by high volume tourism, but the economic value of that reliance and dependency can be improved. There is an opportunity to shift a significant part of that volume into the high-yield meetings and convention sector at a larger scale,” he said.

“We can build on our excellent business events reputation and our outstanding entertainment and the arts sectors, hence coupling the convention centre with a new stand-alone performing arts facility.”

Mayor Wellington said council would seriously considered the 35-page document from CCIQ Noosa.

“Initially it will be assessed by key staff and councillors. If and when we decide to embark on a full feasibility study, we would certainly need to garner external expertise,” he said.

"This interaction with CCIQ Noosa is exactly the type of conversation that Noosa Council encourages. We are always keen to engage with representative organisations in our community and we are certainly not afraid of big ideas. After all, it was idealism that helped make Noosa what it is today.

"So I congratulate CCIQ Noosa on this initiative and acknowledge the significant amount of volunteer work they have assigned to the project.”

Mr Chenoweth said it was perfect timing for a feasibility study now, with a new council, development of the 20-year Transport Plan, the imminent start of the 2016 Planning Scheme review, and the ability to plan and execute the project within one four-year term of council.

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