ONE of Noosa's staunchest green activists fears Noosa is set to win the battle to get its council back only to lose its vision about a sustainable future by becoming smug.
Noosa Parks Association leading light Dr Michael Gloster, who assumed a leadership mantle from the likes of NPA founder, the late Dr Arthur Harrold, gave a hard-nosed assessment of the community post de-amalgamation, at a recent public forum at the Noosa Outrigger Resort.
At the forum alongside panellists Fraser Island Defenders Organisation legend John Sinclair, Noosa playwright David Williamson and big-city lover, author Elizabeth Farrelly and moderator ABC Talking Heads presenter Peter Thompson, Dr Gloster was commenting on the main topic - Where to Noosa?
And the forum subtitle - Increasingly Sustainable or Increasingly Smug? - was very much on song with Dr Gloster's provocative thoughts in a year when the NPA celebrates 50 years of environmental activism.
Dr Gloster said Noosa had enjoyed two green waves in the past half century - one of conservation including clawing back into national park large tracts earmarked for development and one of shaping the built environment to fit in with the natural landscape.
"We're an attractive place to live and an attractive place to visit," Dr Gloster said.
"At one level it seems like we're in a very, very strong position, but as you know over the last six to eight years we've had this enormous distraction of first of all the rumblings about amalgamation."
He said after four years of a forced marriage to Maroochy and Caloundra, he believed Noosa would have its own council back in 12 to 15 months through the de-amalgamation process.
"My real concern is that we've become so focused on winning back our own council, we may have lost our longer term vision.
"To me the real threat now is that we sit back on our laurels, almost emotionally exhausted.
"And become smug by saying 'hey, this is a pretty nice place - we've done what we needed to do', rather than asking the question, 'now that we've got our council back, what do we have to do'?"
Dr Gloster said what was needed was a third wave of community-based activism to continue Noosa's historic drive towards excellence in both built and natural environments.
"The third wave will be getting many, many more people getting involved making this place an increasingly sustainable community," Dr Gloster said.
"The last 50 years it's been a relatively small number of people who have driven the conservation of the environment.
"It's actually going to involve a lot of people rolling up their sleeve and doing something - a lot more people working at the coal face just doing vegetation rehabilitation."