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Noosa councillor says put ‘local' back into local govt

YES: Councillor Tony Wellington is ready to vote “yes”. PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED
YES: Councillor Tony Wellington is ready to vote “yes”. PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

THE man elected to "the belly of the beast" - his description of the Sunshine Coast Council - on a blatant Noosa de-amalgamation platform is primed for the "vote yes" campaign.

"Minister Crisafulli's announcement gives the residents of Divisions 11 and 12 an opportunity to put the 'local' back into local government," Councillor Tony Wellington said.

The Division 12 councillor said the March de-amalgamation referendum in Noosa was "an important opportunity to reinstate an efficient council that understands the genuine needs of its local area".

"In the long term, you have to think of the big picture and what's going to happen to Noosa down the track," he said.

"If we don't de-amalgamate, we are going to be subsidising all the growth in the southern part of the Coast.

"That's going to be a lot more expensive than going out on our own."

Cr Wellington accused the Coast council "and its sycophants" of attempting to "undermine local sentiment here in the north".

"They will argue that there are supposed economies of scale at work that make the mega-council more efficient. But from inside the belly of the beast, I'm blowed if I can see any such thing," he said.

"I regularly hear staff complaining about the bureaucratic hoops they are forced to jump through - unnecessary red tape that impedes their ability to carry out their jobs.

"A lack of local knowledge also impedes efficiency. Just this week, I had two staff in my Tewantin office who had driven up from their Caloundra office to talk with me about a road matter in Tinbeerwah."

Cr Wellington said neither of these staff members had ever been to Tinbeerwah.

"In fact, I had to give them directions on how to get from Tewantin to Tinbeerwah, so they could look at the actual road they were making a decision about," he said.

"There are lots of truly terrific people working on the council. The vast majority of staff want to do the best job they can, but too often the very scale of the organisation and the area it covers work against their best intentions."

Topics:  local government, noosa


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