21st Century on the Sunshine Coast

Children celebrating the Mountains to the Sea Festival, Kings Beach Park, Caloundra, 2001 | Picture Sunshine Coast.


Kings Beach Park was officially opened by Caloundra City Council Mayor, Don Aldous, on Saturday 2nd December. Thousands of people took the opportunity to enjoy the Centenary of Federation celebrations, the Mountains to the Sea Festival, which were held to coincide with the opening of the $12 million redevelopment of the Kings Beach site. Construction commenced on the Jack Ferris Lookout, situated on the Trachyte Ridge between Mt Beerburrum and Mt Tibrogargan in August. The look out was named after long term Bankfoot House resident of the Glass House Mountains area, Jack Ferris, aged 100 years old in 2001. State and Federal Government Grants funded the construction of a car park, walking tracks and the lookout as part of the Centenary of Federation. The Centenary of Federation Walking Track and Jack Ferris Lookout were officially opened on 1 December 2001. Ma Bendall passes away aged 91. The Ma and Pa Bendall Surfing Competition is held each year to honour the Bendalls and their contribution to the sport of surf board riding. A park at Moffat Headlands is also named after them.


Kathleen McArthur of ‘Midyim’ Caloundra is acknowledged and declared the Sunshine Coast Citizen of the Century.


Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin of Australia Zoo, Beerwah dies after being pierced in the heart from a stingray barb whilst swimming with stingrays off the Queensland coast. There is a huge outpouring of grief for this popular Sunshine Coast identity who had became a world-wide celebrity. On 27 September the Queensland State Government announces a permanent tribute to Steve Irwin by renaming the 30 kilometres of the Glass House Mountains Road the Steve Irwin Way. Prime Minister John Howard announces that the Glass House Mountains is to be placed on the National Heritage Register.


On 14 January Caloundra City Mayor, Don Aldous, announced that he would not be running for election for the new Sunshine Coast Regional Council. On 15 March, the councils of Noosa Shire, Maroochy Shire and Caloundra City amalgamated to form the Sunshine Coast Regional Council. The first elected Mayor for the newly amalgamated Sunshine Coast Regional Council is Mayor Bob Abbott.


A search led by David Mearns, who had previously lead the team that found the wrecks of HMAS Sydney and HSK Kormoran, discovered Centaur’s wreck on 20 December. Centaur was located about 30 nautical miles off the southern tip of Moreton Island, off Queensland’s south-east coast. The wreck will be protected by the Australian government’s Historic Shipwrecks Act 1976. The site will therefore become a memorial to the lives that were lost on that ill-fated voyage.


At its meeting of 5 February, the Sunshine Coast Regional Council’s Strategic Register Committee, as delegate for the Queensland Heritage Council, resolved to enter the old Caloundra Lighthouse, situated in Canberra Terrace, Caloundra, in the Queensland Heritage Register as a State Heritage Place, under the Queensland Heritage Act 1999.