EMPLOYMENT and supply opportunities have hinterland businesses excited by the prospect of a revamped Big Pineapple tourism destination.

A meeting between developers and 45 local business representatives and residents hosted by Nambour Alliance last week highlighted the opportunities held by the massive redevelopment.

Nambour Alliance president Timothy Smith said the crowd had been impressed by the presentation on the renewal, which was due to create 800 jobs during construction and 600 while operational.

Mr Smith said the project developers made clear they would be seeking locals to fill a number of jobs and provide materials.

“These guys have gone to great lengths to ensure what they’re planning on doing is conveyed to the community,” Mr Smith said.

“We’re very excited.”


Artist’s impressions of the proposed incubator building and hub in Precinct Three. Sunshine Coast Council

The Big Pineapple renewal project director Jim Costello said the soon-to-open TreeTop Challenge would be looking to employ locals to fill 30 full time-equivalent positions.

Mr Costello said the individual tenants would drive the bulk of ongoing employment, but it made sense for many to “go local” when hiring.

The masterplan for the Big Pineapple renewal project was recently finalised after a three-year process.

Mr Costello hoped to secure the approvals needed for the overall masterplan in the next six months.


The staged rollout of the Big Pineapple site redevelopment.

The staged rollout of the Big Pineapple site redevelopment. Sunshine Coast Council

The $116 million project involved six precincts and the staged timeline for the redevelopment was revealed in the finalised masterplan submitted in September.

Stage One was set to be rolled out by 2020, which features the bulk of Precinct One, including possible uses like a water park, high ropes course, zoo, hotel and more.

Stage Two was scheduled to begin by 2021, which would include the remainder of Precinct One, Precinct Two (nature-based tourism featuring a possible eco retreat, resort and wellness centre) and parts of Precinct Three, which is proposed to feature food tourism and production, a market and more.

Stage Three, which featured an extension of the existing zoo and the development of parts of the travel centre, was set to start about 2023.

Stage Four, which featured the roll-out of the rest of the farmers hub, travel centre and nature-based tourism, was due to start by 2024.

The festival site, which is in precinct five, also loomed as a key component of the redevelopment, given the success of the Big Pineapple Music Festival.

Mr Costello said the overall event space was a “significant part of our project” and their goal was to become one of Queensland and Australia’s best regional outdoor venues.

At a glance:


Only four per cent of the 170ha site will be built form


Highest intensities of development in Precincts 1 and 3


Precinct 1: Heart of the attraction. Preferred land uses include nature-based tourism, resort complex, offices, low-medium impact industry, markets, shops, park and more.


Sub-precinct 1A: Possible uses include water park, zoo, food tourism, adventure rides, function rooms and more.


Precinct 1A example.

Precinct 1A example. Sunshine Coast Council


Sub-precinct 1B: Possible uses include food and adventure tourism, complementary uses like a resort or hotel with restaurant and function facilities.


Sub-precinct 1C: Adventure and experience tourism, high ropes, TreeTops Challenge, ‘survivor-style’ challenge, smaller functions and more.


The TreeTop Challenge already runs high ropes and zipline courses in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast.

The TreeTop Challenge already runs high ropes and zipline courses in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast. Contributed


Sub-precinct 1D: Tourism uses including extension of the existing zoo, a demonstration farm and restaurant.


Precinct 2: Intended for more significant facilities and infrastructure including short-term accommodation, possible eco resort, wellness centre, cabins, mountain biking park etc.


Example of the features that may appear in Precinct 2.

Example of the features that may appear in Precinct 2. Sunshine Coast Council


Precinct 3: Food tourism hub supporting local businesses and start-ups.


Sub-precinct 3A: Small and medium boutique food production users and single, larger-use such as a winery with restaurant and cellar door, overlooking festival precinct.


Precinct 3A example.

Precinct 3A example. Sunshine Coast Council


Sub-precinct 3B: Heart of the southern site. Includes a wholesale farmers market and incubator market with smaller food production tenancies.


Precinct 3B example.

Precinct 3B example. Sunshine Coast Council


Sub-precinct 3C: Medium to larger, standalone food tourism tenancies such as food and beverage production, possible service station use.


Precinct 4: Possible uses include a holiday park, short-term accommodation, or expansion of food production areas.


Precinct 5: Current music festival site. Uses include a flexible outdoor festival and event space for music and lifestyle festivals, with some semi-permanent structures planned.


Precinct 5 example.

Precinct 5 example. Sunshine Coast Council


Precinct 6: Possible uses include short-term accommodation, consolidated accommodation and facilities for business retreats, school camps, wholesale production (like nurseries, with education opportunities), camping for RVs and caravans, glamping etc.


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