Why Sunshine Coast is losing its community spirit and feel

BIG HOPE: Former Noosa mayor Bob Abbot arrives at an anti-amalgamation march to Parliament House, Brisbane.
BIG HOPE: Former Noosa mayor Bob Abbot arrives at an anti-amalgamation march to Parliament House, Brisbane. Jason Doughertynk

IT IS difficult to find a reason beyond self-interest for the high level of angst among senior Sunshine Coast Council bureaucrats about the decision to grant Noosa residents a vote on de-amalgamation.

In an ideal world, the bureaucracy is meant to be the servant of the democratic process.

In other words, it is not about them and their desires, but about facilitating the wishes and direction ratepayers and elected representatives determine to take.

Noosa fought amalgamation from the start and with good reason.

It had little to do with elitism, a lazy label applied in ignorance by some and wilfully by others wanting to exploit that perception.

Noosa Council developed a culture of service its community appreciated and wanted to retain.

It wasn't a business that saw itself in isolation from the community.

Under the fine stewardship of CEO Bruce Davidson, everyone within the organisation understood their role was to serve.

Certainly the outcome was not utopia. Nothing ever is. There are always those with gripes.

But overwhelmingly, Noosa was a community that took pride in the clearly understood values that guided decision-making.

Amalgamation of the three Sunshine Coast councils was meant to bring economies of scale and to unlock opportunity through a more regional approach.

Instead, what we have seen is the corporatisation of local government that was once closely connected to the community it served.

When residents voted for the first amalgamated council, they overwhelmingly, across the region, opted for Bob Abbot as mayor. The reason was simple. There was genuine hope that what had been created in Noosa would rub off on the rest of the region. That hope faded fast. Instead, the dead hand of the old Maroochy regime quickly claimed ascendancy and its service delivery feels less like community by the day.

Topics:  de-amalgamation sunshine coast regional council

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

It's official: Noosa's totally instaworthy

NATIONAL TREASURE: Noosa National Park's natural beauty is one of the reasons it made the list.

Our beautiful region has come out on top again

Just why our bio reserve tag is vital

TELLING VIDEO: Dick Barnes the NCBA founding president is pleased to help explain the Biosphere's importance to Noosa.

Explaining the Noosa Biosphere

Fixes for hinterland dead spots

PHONE FIX: The township of Boreen Point will be able to overcome mobile black spots.

Fix for mobile black spots

Local Partners

Taylor Lautner 'spotted smooching co-star'

Taylor Lautner has been romantically linked to Billie Lourd

David Beckham's tattoos come to life for UNICEF campaign

David Beckham has called for an end to violence against children

Pop star Liam Payne's Facebook hacked with porn

"Things that can happen to you when you don't have sex."

Tim Roth was abused by his grandfather

Tim Roth was abused by his grandfather during his childhood.

Ginger Flower and Food Festival highlights announced

Head gardener Chloe Evans with Pink Indianhead ginger plants at The Ginger Factory in Yandina in the lead-up to last year's Ginger Flower and Food Festival.

There's some for everyone at the Ginger Flower and Food Festival

Club offers New Year's Eve action away from the beach

The Claptomaniacs.

Be wined, dined and entertained this New Year's Eve.

'Woolworths should be rejected': MP slams council

Woolworths sign.

Controversial community supermarket plans come under criticism

Sunshine Coast home to QLD's richest house

The house was QLD's richest sold for last week.

Home sells for more than $3.5 million

Developer's grand new multi-million dollar estate

NEW ESTATE: This is the only plan revealed by the property developer's new Billabongs Estate in Agnes Water.

DEVELOPER given the go ahead for a massive estate with 149 homes.

Couple's desperate $550K price drop to sell Gladstone home

Brian Headley and Kirstene Staib are selling their Kin Kora mansion for $750,000.

TELL tale sign of Gladstone's property market.

Banks reclaim Gladstone homes as job losses bite

LONG FALL: Property experts Heron Todd say, based on key market indicators, Gladstone is still travelling to the bottom of the market, with property prices set to get cheaper.

Property valuers say Gladstone housing market hasn't hit the bottom

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!