Project community engagement approach
  • Last updated:
  • 15 Jun 2022

Local community input is critical in planning for a place. The Sunshine Coast community is highly interested and passionate about the region and its future. Council recognises the importance of implementing a planning framework that reflects the community's aspirations and values, and that supports the achievement of a shared vision, and a sense of ownership and control over our future.

Council is committed to ensuring that the community plays a meaningful role in the preparation of the new planning scheme. By registering your interest in the New Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme Project, you can receive project updates and be notified about the timing of consultation activities.

Community engagement opportunities

The consultation and engagement program for the New Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme Project will include 2 key community consultation phases:

  • Preliminary consultation (completed – 10 February to - 31 March 2022). Council sought community feedback on proposed planning directions for managing growth and development on the Sunshine Coast and in local areas. These directions and the outcomes of the preliminary consultation will help inform the drafting of the new planning scheme. 
  • Formal (statutory) consultation on the proposed new planning scheme where community feedback will be sought on the draft planning scheme itself, including details such as proposed zoning and code provisions (expected 2023).

In addition, the consultation and engagement program for the new planning scheme will include:

  • Ongoing activities and opportunities for engagement including the project website (with knowledge sharing), project updates and the ability to contact the Project Team directly through a dedicated project email address
  • Reference groups and key stakeholder engagement activities, providing valuable input into the Project. A Community Reference Group (CRG) and Technical Reference Group (TRG) have been formed (refer below for details)
  • Adoption and commencement information and briefings when the new planning scheme is adopted and takes effect
  • Implementation and training including support, resources and guidance.

New Planning Scheme Engagement

The proposed consultation and engagement approach for the new planning scheme is summarised in the figure below. The key community involvement milestones are highlighted in green.


*The plan making process is anticipated to take two to three years to complete (noting that the timing of certain steps in the process, such as state interest reviews are not within council's control).

Council has established a Community Reference Group (CRG) to provide key input and guidance to council about the best ways to engage with the community during preparation of the proposed new planning scheme.

Input from the CRG has informed the overarching Communications and Engagement Strategy and the Preliminary Consultation Program for the New Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme Project.



The CRG consists of an independent chairperson (appointed by council) and 10 community members. The members of the CRG represent a range of interest areas and demographics to ensure that the group is representative and inclusive of our diverse Sunshine Coast community.

The CRG members are:

  • Karen Neuendorf (Chair)
  • Professor Robert Elliot (individual nomination)
  • Louise Formosa (individual nomination)
  • Carl Nancarrow (Urban Development Institute Australia (UDIA) Sunshine Coast Branch)
  • Stephen Burton (individual nomination)
  • Melva Hobson (Organisation of Sunshine Coast Association of Residents (OSCAR))
  • Trevor Rice (Sunshine Coast Access Advisory Network Inc)
  • Narelle McCarthy (Sunshine Coast Environment Council (SCEC))
  • Sarah Sargent (individual nomination)
  • Gunter Nolle (Sunshine Coast Youth Council)
  • Abbey Lindley (individual nomination)


The CRG held 4 meetings during August – October 2021.  Further meetings of the CRG may be held at key project milestones over the life of the Project.

Terms of Reference

For further details on the roles and responsibilities of the CRG, please review the Community Reference Group Terms of Reference[557KB].

Council is establishing a Technical Reference Group (TRG) to provide key technical input and feedback to council about the content and workability of the new planning scheme.


The TRG membership is anticipated to include practicing professionals and representatives of relevant peak bodies and industry associations and represents a diverse range of interests and disciplines, including development, planning, engineering, surveying, architecture, landscape and urban design, environment and building.


A TRG inception meeting was held in early 2022. Further meetings of the TRG are intended to be held on a quarterly basis over the life of the New Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme Project.  More frequent meetings may also be convened at key project milestones.

Terms of Reference

For further details on the roles and responsibilities of the TRG, please review the Technical Reference Group Terms of Reference[478KB].

Council's inclusive and transparent approach to community engagement and consultation is set out in its Community Engagement Policy[304KB] and Community Engagement: Excellence in Engagement Framework 2021.

The community engagement and consultation approach for the New Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme Project is being guided by this policy and framework as well as input and feedback from the CRG.

For more information

Register for the New Planning Scheme Project updates

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If you have any questions about the New Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme Project, you can contact the Project Team by:

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