TRIBALISM and backstabbing by the previous three Coast councils has resulted in the region lacking major infrastructure and civic assets, according to new Mayor Mark Jamieson.
And Cr Jamieson told a Noosa meeting of independent retirees last Thursday that the inaugural Sunshine Coast council was seen as chasing away private investors by being inconsistent and making business jump through hoops.
"If you look at the Sunshine Coast it's the 10th biggest city in Australia and we're sadly lacking in key areas like infrastructure, public transport infrastructure, civic assets, world-class sporting facilities," the mayor said.
"As far as the Federal Government's concerned they've been planning on us being the eighth biggest city in Australia not that far into the future.
"The three previous shire councils did not do a very good job working together to ensure we had all those public facilities and assets.
"There was far too much tribalism, far too much stabbing one another in the back, if you like, and not enough co-operation. As a result, here we are today lacking the basic things that a big city should have."
Cr Jamieson said he appreciated a lot of his audience did not like thinking of the Sunshine Coast as a big city.
"The great thing about it is it's actually 37 communities that have got their own identity, their own image, they can enjoy that localism as they will.
"But we have the opportunity to come together as a decent-sized community with some real political muscle to get more for our community at the end of the day.
"Regrettably our last council, perhaps unfairly, did cop a lot of criticism about being very unreasonable to deal with, very inconsistent in its decision-making, you know, put people through the hoops unnecessarily.
"That really has frightened a lot of private investment away."
Cr Jamieson said ultimately the council was the Coast's regional planning authority and had quite a bit of influence, particularly around trying to create an environment of confidence and trust that would encourage the private sector to invest.
"I understand how important it is to get that balance between the environment, but also giving opportunity for our economy to be stimulated," he said.
Cr Jamieson said he wanted this council to look closely at "what shape we need to be in to go forward".
"And how do we make sure we are spending ratepayers' money as efficiently as possible, but still providing the level of service that's demanded, the level of public amenity that's available."
Cr Jamieson said the previous council fell just short of signing off on the new regional planning scheme, but it was now appropriate for the new councillors to review what was in the planning scheme before it went up for public consultation most likely in September. A new plan was hoped to be finalised in the new year.