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Our rates head south as Free Noosa says we pay a big price

NEXT STEP: Noel Playford (far left), of the Noosa Independence Alliance, and Bob Ansett, of Friends of Noosa, speak to media after the Noosa referendum announcement.
NEXT STEP: Noel Playford (far left), of the Noosa Independence Alliance, and Bob Ansett, of Friends of Noosa, speak to media after the Noosa referendum announcement. Richard Bruinsma

FREE Noosa has returned fire on the Sunshine Coast Council bean counters, saying the creation of a Maroochydore CBD at Horton Park will cost Noosa ratepayers an extra $1000 alone.

That is unless they choose to de-amalgamate at the March referendum.

"The Free Noosa campaign says it's time to start talking about the 'elephants in the room' of the de-amalgamation debate," Free Noosa spokesman Noel Playford said.

"The Maroochydore CBD upgrade has already cost well over $40 million and the QTC report says required infrastructure will cost another $150 million.

"That's over $1000 from every single ratepayer for a project of very little benefit to the people of Noosa."

Mr Playford said there was another major project the Coast council was eyeing off that should concern Noosa ratepayers, who have been told by Boundaries Commissioner Colin Meng that de-amalgamation will cost them $260 in rates for the first year. And Mr Meng says there would be another four $142 increases annually after that to pay for the split.

Mr Playford said: "I believe the council is spending $4 million on a study of light rail from Maroochydore to Caloundra.

"The ultimate cost of this project could be in the hundreds of millions.

"This is the bleak future for Noosa ratepayers ... watching their hard-earned rates money head south, year after year."

Mr Playford accused a couple of Coast councillors of "some very tricky use of numbers" as a "version of the old pea and thimble trick".

He said the latest attempt by deputy mayor Chris Thompson to muddy the waters on how much Noosa ratepayers were subsidising the rest of the Coast was a good example.

"When I say $8 million of Noosa rates - $270 from each ratepayer - will be spent each year on the rest of the Coast, I have not forgotten 'whole of region' funding.

"It's all in the council's own 10-year capital works program, and the $8 million has been confirmed by former Noosa Council finance staff."

The former Noosa mayor said Noosa residents would be hearing a lot of spin in the next couple of months.

"And some of it really does play Noosa people for mugs," he said.

"I have news for Mr Thompson. We're not mugs up here. We understand precisely why the council is conducting a disinformation campaign that's sounding more strident each day.

"The Noosa cash cow wants to break free. The Sunshine Coast Council doesn't want this to happen."

"I'm very confident the people of Noosa can make up their own minds about who they believe."

Topics:  free noosa, noosa politics


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