New Noosa mayor Playford on the money with $11 million

NOOSA mayor Noel Playford has been proved right in his claims that de-amalgamation would cost considerably less than the $11m quoted by Queensland Treasury Corporation.

Transfer manager Peter Franks who will become interim CEO of the Noosa Council from January 1 said yesterdaytues that it would also have an operational surplus and at worst break even in the first financial year of the new era.

Mr Franks said the organisation would be fiscally conservative with a focus on service delivery to ratepayers.

He said $5m had been saved by outsourcing IT services and he had kept his own costs as low as possible. The six months of planning for the split had cost about $1m less than half the Treasury's estimate.

"I don't have the final asset list,'' Mr Franks said. "But we are not planning to buy any plant or equipment.

"I'm aiming to be in the black. We will inherit and incur debt but the aim is an operating surplus (in the first year) or to at least break even.''

Mr Playford, who won the mayoralty last weekend with 78.5% majority, famously said he would bet his house that costs would be anywhere near Treasury's forecast.

Mr Franks said yesterdaytues that they would be lower still if Sunshine Coast Council had decided to support his recommendation that libraries remain a shared service.

He said a direct cash benefit had been lost because the subsidies two councils would receive from the State Library were less than would have been provided if they had stayed together.

"The biggest impacts will be Noosa residents will lose direct access to a larger book collection and Sunshine Coast residents who use Noosa and Cooroy libraries for convenience will have to carry two library cards,'' Mr Franks.

Noosa councillor Tony Wellington accused his Sunshine Coast colleagues of acting out of spite with no analysis done of the cost of the decision.

But Mr Franks was more conciliatory.

"I take my hat off to John Knaggs and his team,'' he said. "They have worked really cooperatively to create two good organisations.

"Obviously they have been negotiating in their best interest as I have for Noosa. But they have been very mature discussions.''

Mr Franks described Noosa as the most engaged community he had ever worked it.

"People want to be involved because they see it as their community,'' he said. "They want to have a say and it's a really positive approach.''

He will seek appointment as full time Noosa CEO in the New Year in what he said would be a competitive process.

"I've been made to feel very welcome. I've invested a lot of myself in the process and would like to see it through.''