By Michael Roche and Okki Klijn
There’s nothing worse than coming to a stand-still on the way to work, but this is a problem that Division 3 residents face on a daily basis.
Nicklin Way spans across the Sunshine Coast from Mooloolaba through to Caloundra and with the population continuing to grow rapidly, congestion is causing mayhem on the local road.
The Department of Transport and Main Roads have identified that the traffic on Nicklin Way is considerably worse compared to other surrounding areas, with some drivers forced to travel at a sluggish 13km/hr on average during peak hours.
The growing population in the Division 3 region leads to increasing amounts of congestion on the main roads and RACQ Head of Public Policy Rebecca Michael says drastic measures need to be taken in order to tackle to problem.
“With 36,000 vehicles using this road every day, it’s time we saw some long-term solutions like a large signalised intersection and a link established between Third Avenue and Nicklin Way,” she says.
“It’s only fair for those who come to live, work and play on the Coast to have a road and transport network that can keep up.”
About the division
Division 3 encompasses Kawana, Little Mountain, Birtinya, Bokarina, Aroona, Wurtulla, Warana and Mediran Plains.
The division boundaries have been altered since the 2019 election and now expands to wrap around a large area of land behind the Sunshine Coast University Private Hospital that includes a major portion of the Mooloolah River.
As of 2019 there were 22,770 enrollers in Division 3 and according to the Australian Electoral Commission this number is expected to project to 26,265 by 2024 as the population continues to grow.
Division 3 is home to a number of central facilities on the Sunshine Coast including the University’s Private Hospital, Kawana Shoppingworld, various beaches including the popular Point Cartwright and the Sunshine Coast stadium.
This is a significant contributor to the congestion problems in the region.
Division 3 Cr Peter Cox says there are three significant problems that the region is currently facing.
The first is sustainable development, which refers to insuring sufficient resources and facilities to accommodate the growing population of the area.
Next he points to responsible management of natural assets such as the region’s s beaches, waterways and flora and fauna.
The third and most impactful issue effecting the majority of residents in the Division 3 area is the traffic congestion along Nicklin Way, especially following the emergence of the Sunshine Coast University Hospital.
Meet the candidates
Cr Cox is the Division 3 representative on the Sunshine Coast and has served the area for the past four years.
He says he is passionate and invested in local issues such as economic development, local business support, placemaking, sustainable development and healthy waterways.
Cr Cox is focused on strategically planning for the growth of the Division 3 area to maintain balance in the future and works hard to ensure the voice of the community is heard.
Pamela Mariko is running for the Animal Justice Party.
She is passionate about animal ethics, the environment and humanity and says her party’s values and policies align with the yoga philosophy of AHIMSA, and non-injury to every living being.
Michael Jessop is another candidate for Division 3 and is running for the Whig Party, which is an independent political party.
Mr Jessop has three main priorities for the region which are upgrading and duplicating the railway lines between the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane, providing households with free solar panels and increasing the height of cellular network antennae to double range.
Stan Nawrocki has two main goals for the division that include making the cost of living on the Sunshine Coast less through the ability to dump green waste for no cost all year round and also conducting regular consultations with the community to identify what their needs are.
The final candidate for the Division 3 is Michael McDonald, however there is very little information on Mr McDonald available.
Where to vote
The election will be held on Saturday the 28 March 2020. To Electoral Commission Queensland has information on voting booths .