Unhappy Council union now over
AFTER five-and-a-half years of an unhappy marriage, Sunshine Coast councillors shook hands with their new partners to mark the beginning of another era of separation.
The 13 councillors, including Mayor Mark Jamieson, used the final ordinary meeting yesterday as a time to welcome the newly elected Noosa councillors back into their Tewantin chambers.
Cr Jamieson acknowledged all the councillors on this "historic day".
He took time to reflect on the achievements of the council, which stretches from Beerburrum in the south to Kin Kin in the north and Kenilworth in the west, since amalgamation was forced on it in 2008.
Cr Jamieson also took the time to pay credit to Cr Russell Green who, after five successive terms, has decided to quit local government.
Cr Green choked back tears as he gave an emotional farewell speech to thank his family, his colleagues, politicians and the community he has been involved with for 17 years.
Cr Jamieson said it was time to "look to the future", while reflecting on what had been achieved.
Notable achievements included finalising the draft Sunshine Coast planning scheme, $916 million worth of capital works, major infrastructure projects, significant waste reduction and improved waste recycling.
He said the council's latest rating review showed it was in a strong financial position.
The council also had made a sweep of reforms to make local laws simpler.
He thanked all councillors and employers for helping making the council a success and wished the new Noosa council "all the best".
He also acknowledged the council staff who were about to lose their jobs as part of the de-amalgamation.
Former Sunshine Coast mayor Bob Abbot, who is part of the newly elected Noosa council, paid tribute to Cr Jamieson with whom he shared membership to an "exclusive club".
"We are the only two mayors who have this honour and we will do so for the rest of our lives," he said.
Cr Green said he was looking forward to starting his own consultancy firm.