THOUSANDS of new residents have arrived in Noosa in the four-and-a-half years since our local council was swallowed up by the local government whale we know as the Sunshine Coast Regional Council, the fourth biggest in Australia.
Those who were not around before 2008 and didn't see the old Noosa Council at work, and they might find it hard to understand why longer-term residents like me are so fired up about getting their local council back.
Trust me, those of us putting thousands of hours of our time into the Free Noosa movement are not doing it because of some nostalgic yearning for the "good old days".
It's because we know that everything we've battled for as a community over the decades - our low-key, village-like footprint on the coast, our balance of nature and restrained building, our lifestyle - all of it is now under threat.
Until 2008, Noosa Council was delivering the highest levels of service on the Sunshine Coast for the lowest rates.
That's an equation we were proud of. It's called efficiency.
When the former government bundled Noosa, kicking and screaming, into the amalgamation bandwagon, we were told there would be 'economies of scale' and that things would be done even more efficiently.
History tells a different story. It tells us we've lost all sorts of services like the annual bulk rubbish collections and that our parks and public areas aren't being as well maintained.
When we call the Council about an issue, the response is likely to be: "You're calling from Pomona. Where's that ?"
And the town plan that guides and shapes the Noosa of the future is not set in concrete.
At least not in the eyes of several councillors from the other end of the coast who really don't see why Noosa should be different from Caloundra.
It really doesn't matter whether you believe - as we do - that the fabric that binds Noosa together is slowly being unravelled by councillors living many kilometres away who have no stake in our future.
Surely something we should all agree with is the notion that in local government, the key word is local.
Local people with a real say in local decisions, whether it's the opening times of the local library or whether it's appropriate to have large-scale, commercial helicopter operations in a national park.
In the months ahead, when we expect to have the chance to vote for Noosa's independence, then we will all have the opportunity to discuss the costs of de-amalgamation and the nuts and bolts of what it means.
For now, though, let's keep focussed on why we're so passionate about all this.
It's our place, and we want our say through our local council to decide our future.