Aerial view of Noosa Heads.
Aerial view of Noosa Heads.

Council is just ‘plan’ wrong say business groups

THE Noosa Council will press ahead with plans for a special meeting this Wednesday to consider the revised new Noosa Plan despite a demand by business groups to postpone any decision until after the March local government election.

A council spokesman said hundreds of submissions have been made after "extensive community consultation and considerable community discussion, opinions and feedback on certain aspects of the plan, which has been carefully reviewed by officers".

"Having received over 1500 written submissions, hundreds of queries and suggestions, on Wednesday, council will discuss the final changes to the plan, which will then be sent to the state Government for sign off," the spokesman said.

"As part of the consideration and endorsement, a report on the summary of issues from submissions will be considered by council at the Wednesday meeting coupled with proposed changes in response to submissions received."

He said once the plan is endorsed by council on Wednesday, the plan is required to be signed off by the (Local Government) Minister before council can formally adopt the new Planning Scheme, which it's hoping to do in early 2020."

The Noosa Junction Association, Noosaville Business Association and the Hastings St Association have accused the council of ignoring the 600 plus submissions "opposed to proposed changes" and of rushing these through ahead of council election.

"The 169 page report with recommendations published by Noosa Council yesterday highlights that a significant the 600+ public submissions were opposed to the proposed changes," their joint statement said.

"The council appears to have ignored the large number of opposing submissions and made the following recommendation as a result: 'That no change be made to the New Noosa Plan as a result of these submissions'.

"A reduction in short-term letting will have a negative impact on jobs in Noosa. short-term letting helps keep people in jobs, such as trades people, cleaners, accountants, leisure activity operators, and food and beverage employees."

The associations said the council has confirmed that no economic impact assessment has been completed to support such significant, community wide changes and "has also confirmed that they are looking to rush the new plan through before the next election".

"On such an important matter it would be reasonable to let the entire community vote on the changes, and the results then being used by the council to set the future direction of the town plan".

"Noosa Council's stance is in contradiction to the Economic Development Plan which supports tourism, and the Corporate Plan specifically states Noosa Council will provide support for a sustainable tourism sector.

"We ask the Noosa Council again, to postpone the vote on 11/12/2019, and we propose that the whole community is allowed to vote on this complex and confusing issue that has far reaching impacts across the shire," they said.

To view the proposed plan and the report, visit https://www.noosa.qld.gov.au/meetings-minutes

The meeting will be live streamed.