Interview with Joe Natoli re the community response to the Mooloolaba to Maroochore cycleway

The Mooloolaba to Maroochydore Cycleway has attracted its share of controversy of late.

Yesterday, residents of Alexandra Headlands took to the beach to protest the propose implementation of the Cycleway.

We spoke to local councillor Joe Natoli about their concerns.

What’s the importance of something like this to the community?

This is really important to be able to demonstrate how strongly the community feels about what is being proposed for the M2M Cycle way.

Do you sorta agree with the basic idea of the cycle way and just not the implementation of it? Where’s your position?

From my understanding, no one here want’s to stop the cyclists from being able to have a cycleway. But when it impacts the conectiveness between the people that have used this area for so long – surfers, and those people who have used this beach for decades and decades upon decades – that they would, that they would be upset if something was going to tear them apart. This cycle way basically takes over a territory that has a connectives to culture, a connectives to history, and that heritage has to be preserved. And look, these people are showing us that it means so much to them. It’s their lifestyle and it’s an attack on their lifestyle. So what they want is to work with Council, [and] TMR and find another solution. So that both parties, both groups can have exactly what they want.

I saw you posted on Facebook that you were talking to Fiona Simpson. What’s that discussion about?

Fiona and I are on the same page. We both feel very strongly about supporting the community. We understand how the community was going to be impacted. We also understood how the community was going to react. You can see here that we were both absolutely correct. The community has come out in numbers, in droves showing their support for the people that use this. It’s their turf, it’s their land, their use of this area. It’s what they want to demonstrate. The simple things in life are sometimes mean more than anything else.

If there was some other design that could take into consideration the concerns you’d be happy with that?

Absolutely. My notice of motion in Council says that ‘lets forget about this option here, and we’ve got to find another alternative option.’ The moment we do that I think all of this opposition to the current proposal will be turned around and them be positive.

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