NOOSA'S bid to separate from the Sunshine Coast Regional Council is one step closer to success.
Local Government Minister David Crisafulli announced this morning he would progress Noosa's application for de-amalgamation to the Boundaries Commissioner for further consideration.
Noosa is only one of five successful applicants.
Nineteen former shires applied for de-amalgamation.
Boundaries Commissioner Col Meng and the Queensland Treasury Corporation will work together over the next two and half months to consider the cases for de-amalgamation.
"This was always going to be a difficult process but if a proposal stacks up, the community will make the final decision at a referendum," he said.
Free Noosa chairman Noel Playford says he's delighted that Noosa has made the cut, although not surprised.
"Let's be honest, if our submission had not made it to the next stage, then nothing would."
Mr Playford took Noosa's 70-page submission and a petition of residents to the Minister's office late last month.
He says the Boundaries Commissioner and his staff will soon be heading for Noosa to speak with local people and gauge for himself just how deep is the passion for de-amalgamation.
The former Noosa mayor said it was a once-only shot at breaking away from the "giant Sunshine Coast Regional Council''.
"For those who want to protect our balance of low-key development, lifestyle and natural beauty, we will probably never get another chance."
Mr Playford has urged local people to make a brief statement to the Boundaries Commissioner on the issue.
"We need people to tell him what they think, why they want their council back. He's read about the passion for independence in Noosa, but now he needs to see if for himself."
The Free Noosa chairman says his group cannot afford to become complacent.
"The Commissioner has Noosa's future in his hands now.
"We know our community has been galvanised into a very strong consensus of business people and loc al residents who want their council back. We need to get that across to him before he makes his decision."
Member for Noosa, Glen Elmes said the decision was testament to the professionalism of the proposal and the determination of the Noosa community to see their shire returned as an autonomous local government area.
"Noosa's petition is one of only five from the nineteen submitted to progress to the next stage," Mr Elmes said.
"The Minister's decision brings closer my goal to deliver what former Premier, Peter Beattie, took away from Noosa residents; the right to have a say on the matter.
"The Boundaries Commissioner will now consider all the information provided, and make a recommendation to the Minister by the end of November as to whether a vote on the de-amalgamation will be held.
"The Minister is due to make an announcement in early December about which of the five selected proposals will proceed to a vote to be held by the end of March 2013.
"I believe Noel Playford and his Noosa Independence Alliance team have provided all the information needed for the Minister to make a decision in favour of a de-amalgamation vote."
More than 9,000 valid petitions were presented to the Minister supporting a poll on de-amalgamation, with another thousand unable to be accepted because they were from people who owned property in Noosa but weren't resident.
Mr Elmes said the de-amalgamation petition was well considered and strongly supported by residents from right across the former Noosa Shire area.
He said he was pleased but not surprised that the petition had been successful where others had failed.
Proposals from former shires Douglas, Isis, Livingstone and Mareeba will also be handed to Mr Meng for "financial and logistical", Mr Crisafulli said.
Mr Crisafulli said he would use the information gathered by the remaining groups to help councils and communities heal the wounds from the forced amalgamations.
"Far from being a waste of time, this has been a great exercise in democracy by giving communities a chance to voice the concerns they were denied five years ago.
"It was always going to be more difficult years on from the initial amalgamation to build a case to operate separately, because there's already been a lot of work and money spent on unifying the former shires.
"But this proves the embers of de-amalgamation still burn and I want the Councils to use this information to address some of the concerns."
Mr Meng will provide a detailed report, including recommendations, to the Minister by November 28, 2012.
Former shires to be refered for de-amalgamation
Douglas - seeking to leave Cairns RC
Isis - seeking to leave Bundaberg RC
Livingstone - seeking to leave Rockhampton RC
Mareeba - seeking to leave Tablelands RC
Noosa - seeking to leave Sunshine Coast RC