Former university dean gives proposed Noosa split a fail

A FORMER dean of the Sunshine Coast University's business faculty questioned the viability of a stand-alone Noosa Council.

"From 2001 to 2006, despite an average annual rate increase of 9.2%, Noosa Council incurred deficits in four of those six years, yet they predicted significant surpluses," Dr Ed Fitzgerald said.

"As noted by the Queensland Treasury Corporation, these forecast surpluses were obtained only by using unrealistic cost increases.

"These facts make it clear a new Noosa Council would be unsustainable." The de-amalgamation issue has simmered since the forced amalgamations of 2008, and heated up after Local Government Minister David Crisafulli agreed to further investigate de-amalgamations.

Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson, along with various supporters and opponents of de-amalgamation, is also waiting for Mr Crisafulli to make his final decision by December 14 on whether Noosa locals should be given a vote on de-amalgamation.

The cost remains a key factor in the argument, with the Noosa Independence Alliance having suggested a split would cost $2 million, while other estimates went as high as $32 million.

Council finance portfolio holder Councilor Chris Thompson told the Sunshine Coast Daily: "I think every reasonable person would agree if the Queensland Treasury Corporation figures are not close to $2 million, then the whole NIA bid would be up in the air," Cr Thompson said.

"I'm at pains to point out that is not a criticism in any way. It's just common sense," Cr Thompson said.

"If the costings are way out, the rest of the plan would also have to be seriously questioned. People are finding it tough to make ends meet as it is. A big bill is the last thing people in Noosa would want for this or any other Christmas."

Topics:  noosa politics

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