NEW Mayor Mark Jamieson has told a Cooroy high school audience that he will not be putting up the no vacancy sign on the fourth largest council in Australia by adopting Noosa's much-debated population cap across the Sunshine Coast region.
Cr Jamieson, speaking on Tuesday to the school's Year 11 Australian Business Week budding entrepreneurs, said that the path to such an artificial limitation could make it impossible for working-class people to live locally.
The mayor, who was elected on April 28, was asked about possibly adopting the former Noosa Shire's development control lead.
"The fact of the matter is it's pretty difficult to do," he said.
"If you consider a community like Noosa and its plan at one stage, I think, for a cap of 45,000 - who will those 45,000 ultimately be?" Cr Jamieson said.
"My answer would be they'll be the people who can afford to live here and that means a lot of people won't be able to afford to live here.
"And those people will invariably be the taxi drivers, the waiters, the hairdressers, the shop assistants and the in-home support people."
Cr Jamieson said the people who can afford to live here won't have the necessary services.
"There are no real regulations."
"IN Noosa there were plans to prevent growth, but there are no real regulations in Australia to stop people coming," he said.
"I bet 20 years ago people were asking the same question and probably 20 years before that.
"I think there's a natural tendency to preserve our little piece of paradise. And that's a great notion to have."
Cr Jamieson said his goal as mayor was to accept that people would continue to come here.
"How will we prepare for them? How do we manage for them?
"How do we ensure that there are sufficient facilities and services available - that we don't kill the golden goose?" he said.
"Our environment ultimately will be better served by a well-developed local economy.
"If Sunshine Coast residents are all confident about their jobs or their businesses, or the future or their kids' future, and they've got sound social values and steady income, they're going to be more inclined to preserve our economy than a community that is under pressure because they don't have good jobs, there's too much casualisation in the workforce, (or) there's not enough encouragement to get a good education."
The mayor said such a situation would be more detrimental on the Coast environment.
"So my policy as mayor is, we come here because of the environment, the waterways, the lifestyle and the environment... we need a strong economy to provide sufficient employment to sustain people in that environment, so they can continue to enjoy that lifestyle."