MAYOR Mark Jamieson has told a Noosa audience the looming de-amalgamation process Noosa is about to engage in has been a drain on the decision-making process of Sunshine Coast Council.
As the guest speaker of the Association of Independent Retirees Noosa meeting at South Pacific Resort last Thursday, Cr Jamieson finally spoke about "the elephant in the room" in question time.
"It is a challenge in the minds of councillors because every decision council makes we have to think, well, what happens if?" he said.
"And that's a great drain on resources. It's a challenge in the minds of employees because what is the impact going to be on them?"
Cr Jamieson was responding to a retiree who had campaigned against forced council amalgamations four years ago but was now happy with the regional council's performance
The retiree said: "I'm just a bit concerned that the de-amalgamation debate is all one way. I think council should defend their position."
Cr Jamieson said he agreed there was a need for locals "to be given the whole story".
"To some extent that has been lacking.
"There has been a one-sided debate, I believe, in Noosa.
"The reality is that I think a lot of that information is still to come out. Now that the (Noosa) boundary commissioner has been appointed, and he will be receiving and consulting with various groups, he can present a balanced picture to people in terms of this is the for and this is the against," he said.
"I guess more importantly for everybody this is what it's going to cost and this is how that might be paid back over a period of time.
"And therefore this is what the impact on your rates might be. And, until you understand fully the pros and cons of all that, I wouldn't be jumping to any conclusions."
Cr Jamieson had earlier highlighted the Australian census data, which showed a "disturbing" dearth of people aged 18-35 on the Coast, which the council hoped to turn around by adding diversity and resilience to the economy.
"There is not a lot of development planned for this end of the Coast and that's out of respect for what people in this area want," Cr Jamieson said.
"However, the opportunity for employment for younger people, in particular, isn't going to be resolved by that.
"Many of those people will need to make a choice of, well, do we need to head to Maroochydore or Caloundra for employment opportunities and come back here to live?
"And I think that makes a lot of sense."