Coolum says 'count us in' for council breakaway
RESIDENTS living in Eumundi, Doonan, Verrierdale and Weyba Downs have until April next year to make their case for breaking away from the Sunshine Coast Council.
EDV Residents Group president Johanne Wright said Local Government Minister David Crisafulli had asked the Sunshine Coast Council, the Noosa Council and the communities hoping to break away to present something to him by then.
The EDV has already begun surveying the local community to check that the desire to move away has not changed since the last survey in 2005.
Then, more than 80% of residents indicated they wanted to move to the Noosa Council.
Mr Crisafulli has given them more hope for their case, saying this week there was no reason for the State Government to stand in their way if they presented a strong case that was agreeable to both councils.
Ms Wright said she was pleased the minister had agreed to consider it.
The area of Weyba Downs will also be included in a push to break away from the Sunshine Coast Council and join Noosa, but there are no plans to include Peregian Springs or Coolum.
The residents' group has already spoken to both councils, highlighting their community's wishes to join Noosa.
"We will now follow up more formally," Ms Wright said.
A reduction in their annual rates bill was not the main reason why the EDV wanted to breakaway, even though Ms Wright was certain that would be the case.
The Sunshine Coast Council approved an average 5% increase in its general rates in the 2014-15 budget, while there was no increase in Noosa. The only new charge was for a kerbside collection.
"We have to prove we have a community of interest (with Noosa)," Ms Wright said.
She did not believe this would be hard with most residents in the area, known as the Noosa hinterland, using services in the Noosa Council, including the library and road networks.
Sunshine Coast mayor Mark Jamieson said the council would "need to see the full details of any transfer proposal before considering a boundary realignment".
Noosa mayor Noel Playford said it was a matter "for the community and for the minister".
Ms Wright said the first call for the area to join Noosa, instead of the former Maroochy, was recorded as far back as 1918.
The existing boundaries were created in 1909.
COOLUM SAYS 'COUNT US IN.'
COOLUM wants to join the breakaway from the Sunshine Coast to join Noosa Council.
Coolum Business and Tourism president Noel Mooney and Coolum Residents Association president Jen Mazoudier both indicated their support of any plan to join Noosa Council.
Mr Mooney said "you get cheaper rates, better service and the people would be keen to move".
He argued the town got more support for its tourism endeavours when it was linked to Noosa.
"We used to fit under Noosa (tourism) during amalgamation, but since Noosa broke away we are back under Sunshine Coast Destination and we are the poor cousin because of this.
"Everything we do in Coolum, we do on our own bat.''
Ms Mazoudier said Coolum residents had made it clear they wanted low-rise and low-impact development and "shared the same values with Noosa".
"It seems the current (Sunshine Coast) Council and Mark Jamieson are keen to push development at all costs," she said.
"The Coolum Residents Association would support going to Noosa.
"We want to maintain the integrity of the area and believe this is the only way to do it."