Cr Ingrid Jackson and Mayor Tony Wellington hold different views on the state acceptance of the new Noosa Plan.
Cr Ingrid Jackson and Mayor Tony Wellington hold different views on the state acceptance of the new Noosa Plan.

Reaction to Noosa Plan divides mayor and councillor

A NOOSA councillor is at odds with Mayor Tony Wellington, insisting the State Government has “rejected” the new Noosa Plan in its “current formulation”.

Cr Ingrid Jackson said the Government “clearly has a number of reservations about the content of the plan and perhaps about the process by which it has been assembled”.

“So Noosa Council goes to a general election (on March 28) with its planning scheme incomplete and unable to be completed before a new council is installed,” Cr Jackson said.

“This gives the Noosa community an opportunity to consider whether or not the next council should be given a different composition than the current one and allowed to rethink some of the more objectionable parts of the draft plan.

“A number of sectors of the Noosa community have felt they were not consulted effectively on the way in which the plan was put together and were very disturbed by the plan’s propositions relating to short-term rental accommodation,” she said.

Cr Jackson said these critics “demonstrated their concern strenuously over a long period of time” and the council could have listened to them “more earnestly and taken their concerns more seriously”.

Cr Wellington said: “Cr Jackson is incorrect in stating that the State Government has rejected the new Noosa Plan.

“The Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning, Cameron Dick, has written to me stating: ‘I am pleased to advise that the council may proceed to adopt the proposed planning scheme.’ That is not a rejection but rather an approval.”

He said the minister chose to impose some conditions to be added to the scheme on adoption relating to koala mapping and provisions for affordable housing.

“We could have proceeded to adopt the scheme and included these conditions, but instead chose to resolve them before adopting the scheme,” he said.

He said Noosa Council has met all of its statutory obligations regarding consultation on the draft planning scheme and “arguably we went beyond our obligations by including additional consultation”.

“It’s very important to note that the State Government did not request any changes to the approach taken by the draft planning scheme to the issue of short-stay accommodation,” he said.