Tony Vella

Tony is the Operations Manager for Downes Group surveyors, planners. Over the last 7 years Tony has headed Downes Group’s leadership team to become a local mobile consultancy successfully expanding into new surveying service sectors and regions. Previously a stakeholder and regional manager of a large trusted Queensland surveying and town planning consultancy, Tony is an involved industry professional with 25 years experience in the construction and development industries across Australia. Much of Tony’s work surrounds land consulting, planning, surveying and titling advice.

When Tony came to town, he saw a place set in a beautiful landscape largely out of focus and seemingly moved to the side by government. A place not receiving much respect or thought for its social and economic future.

What drives him today is a will to help our decision makers refocus on our town and for the first time focus on a regional direction that includes all our Sunshine Coast places. The Sunshine Coast will function best when our places socially and economically succeed, feel happy and optimistic, and have direction. We need visitors from within and beyond our region with a focus on families. Tony feels that the natural fits for Nambour are the heritage, retro, hipster – indie, vintage, creative commerce type ventures, coupled with tertiary, TAFE, and specialist education facilities.

He believes that the plan doesn’t need to be rigorous, as that stifles creation of cool things we haven’t yet thought of. We just need to (socially) set the field so to speak. That’s where the Alliance’s Nambour Town Vision comes in:

  • A multi-purpose showground for interstate and national junior and senior sport, music, culture, exhibitions, events. This means new buildings and infrastructure.
  • A multimodal leisure corridor (walk, run, skate, bike, horse and tram ride) from the showgrounds to the CBD with an upgraded aquatic centre, lagoon, and tipping water bucket tower for the kids.
  • If we could have a main stream Cinema for our 60, 000 plus commercial catchment, we would have more people more frequently visiting our town and in our streets. This, and all we already have, will give us more life in our town day and night.

Tony gets a great sense of satisfaction from looking after his local patch and helping decision makers.
Tony appreciates the slower pace in Nambour, along with the “cool stuff” like Lee and Back Beat Records, the Bison Bar, nice old cars and the massive psychedelic mural on the wall at Nambour station (that hasn’t yet been painted).

Tony is married to Sandy and has a daughter, Megan, and a son, Harry. They love their place, the way they live, and their family and friends.

Professional Memberships
– Member of the Surveying and Spatial Sciences Institute of Australia
– Member of the Urban Development Institute of Australia
– Sunshine Coast Governance Policy Portfolio and Executive Committee
– Sunshine Coast Government SCRC Forum
– Urban Design Alliance Queensland
– Sunshine Coast Light Rail Taskforce
– Sunshine Coast Planning Consultants Group

Other: Sunshine Coast Grammar Rugby Coaching