NOOSA de-amalgamation advocates claim the actual dollar value of surrendering 15% of the Sunshine Coast population will cost the regional council a mere $300,000.
This is a far cry from the potential cost to regional ratepayers of such a split prepared for Sunshine Coast Council by consultant Deloitte of between $2 million and $8.2 million.
In its successful boundary review submission to Local Government Minister David Crisafulli, the Noosa Independence Alliance has argued the direct Coast council costs would consist of:
$200,000 for a de-amalgamation project team;
$75,000 for community information;
$25,000 for external legal costs such as a new Unitywater participation agreement.
The NIA bases these estimates on the assumption that the remaining Coast regional council, to consist of former Maroochy and Caloundra residents, will not require an election and would not need to change its name.
Costs would be kept to a minimum by most of the de-amalgamation process being handled by a "small team of administrators and technical experts", while "the SCRC in-house legal team can undertake most of the required legal documentation".
"This has been the case for other major boundary changes," the NIA submission maintains.
The NIA suggests a reduced interim regional council could revert to a council with a mayor and 10 councillors which will "remain a large financially viable local government with sufficient scale to operate effectively".
Noosa would be best served, according to the NIA, by a mayor and six councillors.
"We do not believe that in the long term, the de-amalgamation will adversely impact upon SCRC," the submission states.
"We believe that given the amalgamation was implemented in seven months from the announcement by the former State Government in late 2007, the de-amalgamation process can be completed by November 2013 which would minimise the impact on SCRC."
The NIA argues that cost to the new Noosa council of going it alone again could be as little as $1.5 million, but has set a figure of around $2 million to cover any added costs.
Deloitte has put a potential figure for Noosa's at between $14.6 million and $23.3 million - a figure that the NIA believes is wildly inflated.
To back its case, it cites the 2009 State Government official costing for the 2008 forced amalgamations.
The Queensland Treasury Corporation identified the true cost of amalgamation for the Sunshine Coast was just more than $4 million in contrast to the council's submission for $13,720,844.
The NIA costing for the Noosa de-amalgamation tab are:
$200,000 for new Noosa Council election;
$75,000 for new council signage;
$150,000 in community information;
$25,000 for external legal costs;
$250,000 to re-establish Noosa Council website;
$350,000 for administrators and Noosa Acting CEO during transition;
$300,000 for a transition team;
$200,000 for early SCRC staff detachment.
"The new council can comfortably absorb such costs without needing to increase rates above the 3.5% forecast."
According to Free Noosa campaign head and former shire mayor Noel Playford the submission shows that: "we can't afford not to do it".
"The direct costs for us boil down to roughly the cost of deferring one large roundabout for one year," Mr Playford said.
"Until 2008, if you take a look up and down the Sunshine Coast, Noosa Council stood out for three reasons - it was the smallest of the three councils, it provided by far the highest level of services, and it did so with the lowest rates."
Mr Playford says their costings strongly indicate there is "absolutely nothing to suggest that the future will be any different".
"Our financial modelling from some of the best talent in the country shows that we can restore the high levels of service that we had before, and we can do it without unreasonable rate increases," he said.
"The Sunshine Coast Regional Council has made it clear they cannot provide the same level of services across the coast that the old Noosa Council did.
"In other words, they can't provide the same levels of efficiency.
"We can't afford to continue paying massively higher rates and getting reduced services.
"And we can't afford to miss this chance to have councillors who live in our area in control of the planning processes that determine how Noosa develops."
The NIA's cost estimates are based on two administrators and a Noosa Acting CEO engaged during a seven month transition period.
A transition team allowance provides for an as-required project team of contracted experts.
SEE: www.freenoosa.com.au for full NIA de-amalgamation costings