Sunshine Coast mayor defends mosque approval
SUNSHINE Coast mayor Mark Jamieson has defended the council's approval of a mosque in Maroochydore, saying the council was not responsible for 'border control' or foreign policy.
The mosque was approved by council officers, not by the full council, despite attracting considerable community debate and protests.
Mr Jamieson told 612 ABC Brisbane on Wednesday that the application was approved under council's new town plan.
"That site along with various other sites along the Sunshine Coast were assessed as being appropriate for places of worship," he said.
"A mosque is a place of worship. It was quite appropriate that it was dealt with by our officers, otherwise it really did run the risk of becoming a political football."
The Coast's small Islamic community bought the Maroochydore house from the Uniting Church last year.
Mr Jamieson said the application was assessed by council on whether it met town planning requirements.
"Councils are not responsible for foreign policy, we're not responsible for border control," he said.
"We're responsible for planning and we need to take a genuine and honest approach to that."
He said the mosque would serve the "very modest needs of this very small Muslim community on the Sunshine Coast."
The mosque at 14 Church St, Maroochydore, was approved by the council with strict conditions around church numbers, noise and the use of amplification.
A development permit for a material change of use for the building was issued by the council on June 23.
Approval conditions include:
The total number of people attending the Place of Worship must not exceed:
- 25 during weekly worship services or during any other Place of Worship activities; and
- 40 during twice-yearly holiday/festival services.
All Place of Worship activities must be conducted only within the area shown as "Worship Space" on the approved plans.
Worship services must not must not operate outside of the hours of:
(a) for the weekly worship services - 12pm to 3pm on Fridays; and
(b) for the twice-yearly holiday/festival services - 7am to 10am on the festival day.
No amplified music/sound shall occur on the site.