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Country charm transforms Woombye’s main street

After 136 years, Woombye’s main street has evolved from a staging depot during the gold rush to a much-loved township.

But what will the next decade bring?

Sunshine Coast Council has revealed the final design of the town’s main street and it’s living up to its golden history.

Sunshine Coast Council Division 5 Councillor Winston Johnston said he was excited to deliver a design that enhanced the town’s heritage.

“Woombye derived its name from the local Aboriginal word “wombai”, which refers both to the black myrtle tree and the axe handle made from its wood, then it was called Middle Camp, then Cobb’s Camp in 1885 before becoming the town we know today,” Cr Johnston said.  

“Woombye is a very enticing hinterland town and I think these qualities are even more prominent in the streetscape design – a design which was very much community developed and inspired.

“Since November 2020, council has been working with residents, businesses, community groups and visitors to bring their values and vison to life.

“The final concept design has been developed and expanded from community consultation which highlighted strong support for an attractive town centre, improved pedestrian experience and parking, and sharing Woombye’s story through art.

“I’m proud to see the final design embody the community’s values which deliver social, economic and sustainable benefits for locals and businesses in Woombye.”

View from Hill Street to proposed community green space in front of the School of Arts Hall.

Shady street trees and garden beds will be planted to cool the footpath, beautify and extend the green, leafy look and feel, to the west of the town centre.

The design also highlights a pedestrian friendly street by improving footpaths and crossings, making it easier to cross the street, slowing traffic and improving access for all abilities.

Convenient and available parking close to the shops was a strong priority for the community, which the design has accommodated.

“The final concept design is a balance between maintaining car parking and improving the experience of residents and visitors to Woombye,” Cr Johnston said.

“We have reduced some of the garden beds to include more parking on Blackall Street and are investigating the permitted parking duration to improve turnover for adjacent businesses.

“The project team will also investigate parking spaces on Wakefield Street and add two more spaces to Hill Street.

“I’m looking forward to working with the Woombye Community and Business Association to create a heritage trail through town and add some artwork in front of the School of Arts Hall to celebrate Woombye’s heritage.”

View from the West-end of town looking north-east.

Council, in partnership with the Queensland Government, has allocated $1.55 million to deliver the streetscape improvements. The State Government has contributed $500,000 of the total funding under the $100 million South East Queensland Community Stimulus Program.

Construction is scheduled to take place mid-2022. Council will keep the community updated as the project progresses.

For more information about Woombye Streetscaping process please visit council’s website: https://haveyoursay.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au/woombye-placemaking

FAST FACTS:

To Create an attractive and vibrant town

• Plant shady street trees, lawn and garden beds to enhance the existing picturesque country town look and feel, specifically at the western-end of Blackall Street

• Create a central space for people to gather in front of the School of Arts Hall

• Support the enjoyment of the street with more essentials like seating, drinking fountains, rubbish bins, dog leash posts and water bowls throughout• Encourage outdoor dining to support local businesses towards the western end of the street

• Investigate art work on the School of Arts Hall

• Upgrade existing raised planters with materials and species in keeping with Woombye’s country town look and feel.

To tell Woombye’s Story

• Add vibrancy and interest with a potential artwork and interpretive elements inspired by Woombye’s heritage in front of the School of Arts Hall.

• Collaborate with the Woombye Community and Business Association in the creation of a heritage trail.

To improve pedestrian experience and provide convenient parking

• Plant shady street trees and garden beds to cool the footpath, beautify and extend the green, leafy look and feel

• Placement of a new raised crossing to improve access to parking at Hill Street and slow traffic to the town centre

• Raise the existing pedestrian crossing to improve safety and slow traffic

• Install a road hump on Blackall Street to slow traffic approaching the pedestrian crossing and Wakefield Street, improving safety

• Placement of seven new car parks on lower Blackall Street.

View from Blackall Street looking East showing proposed reduced road width and increased community green space.

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