NOOSA'S de-amalgamation lobby has fired back against what it sees as Mayor Mark Jamieson sowing the seeds of doubt about the cost of letting Noosa break away from Sunshine Coast Council.
Cr Jamieson's comments, made in Noosa last week, implying the process of de-amalgamation could trigger rate rises, were labelled by Noosa Independence Alliance chairman Noel Playford as scaremongering.
"WHY are the mayor and council so distracted by the possibility of de-amalgamation?" the former Noosa Shire Council mayor said.
"Did (now retired) Cr Griffin hit the nail on the head when she told us earlier this year that Noosa was a cash cow for the Coast? She revealed that Division 11, which takes in the area from Noosaville to Peregian Beach, contributed $29 million in general rates while the average per division was $16.3 million."
Mr Playford said "the money story" was that Noosa's 15% of the population was paying 21% of the Coast's bills.
"A Noosa businessman suggested to me the other day the SCRC is like a giant slug sucking the life out of Noosa. That may be a little over the top but you get the picture."
Mr Playford said a new Noosa council would be able to pay the one-off costs out of current rates without any increase.
"After all, we won't be subsidising the rest of the coast any more," he said.
"Let's not mince words. Noosa is fighting for its life."
Mr Playford said the campaign for de-amalgamation was a battle for the survival of Noosa as a place where development, conservation and lifestyle were in harmony.
"It's this balance that's made Noosa a great place to live, a model of restrained development and a tourist beacon," he said.
"All of this is now at risk.
"When Mayor Jamieson blames previous councils for lack of infrastructure and frightening private investment away it's clear he's just the latest in a long line of advocates over the last 30 years who believe that high-rise, big-city development is essential for the Sunshine Coast.
"And that will be our future without de-amalgamation because 'more is better' is clearly the majority Sunshine Coast Council view."
Mr Playford said the council should focus on getting its own house in order rather than complaining about de-amalgamation.
"They could start by asking why staff numbers have increased so much over the last four years," he said.
Mr Playford said the postcard petition in today's issue of the Noosa News was an opportunity for the people of Noosa to tell the local government minister how they felt about de-amalgamation and regaining a real say in the future of Noosa.
What do you think? Send your view to email@example.com