Protests to 'make no difference' on mosque application

THE council will not consider views of anti-mosque protesters when it decides on a Muslim group's plans to create a place of worship in Maroochydore.

Sunshine Coast Council has confirmed the material change of use application submitted by the Muslim Organisation Sunshine Coast (MOSC) will be considered purely on planning grounds.

RELATED: FIGHT RAGES AS MAROOCHYDORE 'MOSQUE' PUSHES AHEAD 

That is despite calls by Restore Australia for the plan to be rejected on the grounds that mosques are breeding places for terrorists.

Under the MOSC application, the former office building in Church St will become a place of worship with a caretaker's cottage.

Restore Australia has warned of more street protests and a High Court challenge if the plan is approved. That now appears likely within a matter of weeks.

"Regardless of our own personal beliefs, under the Sustainable Planning Act, neither council officers nor councillors can base their assessment of this application on direct or indirect discrimination," Planning portfolio councillor Christian Dickson said.

The Maroochydore mosque protest in September 2014.
The Maroochydore mosque protest in September 2014.

"Planning law, like all law in Australia, is subject to tests for discrimination.

"Any decision on a development application may also be reviewed by the Planning and Environment Court, so there is absolutely no opportunity or discretion for council to deviate from assessing this application under the Sustainable Planning Act."

>> YOUR SAY: ANTI-MUSLIM PROTESTS WERE OFFENSIVE TO ME 

Cr Dickson said a "place or worship", which included a church, chapel, mosque, synagogue or temple, was identified as a "consistent use" at the Church St site.

"A preliminary assessment of the application indicates that the proposal generally complies with the planning scheme requirements."

Acting Mayor Chris Thompson moved to reassure the community that while the council would not be considering the views of anti-mosque groups, it did not support Sharia Law.

"Any decision on a development application may also be reviewed by the Planning and Environment Court, so there is absolutely no opportunity or discretion for council to deviate from assessing this application under the Sustainable Planning Act."

Cr Dickson said a "place or worship", which included a church, chapel, mosque, synagogue or temple, was identified as a "consistent use" at the Church St site.


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