Noosa wants $20 million more from the Sunshine Coast
FOR A few years, it was a rocky relationship ... apparently.
When the split came, the Sunshine Coast Council paid "alimony" of $40 million, to help Noosa re-establish herself.
Now, the Noosa Council wants more: $20 million more, to be exact. Why is unclear, though Noosa Mayor Noel Playford has said it is just a part of de-amalgamation negotiations.
The regional council has already handed over $40 million and Mayor Mark Jamieson described the latest demand as nothing more than a "cash grab" which could cost his ratepayers for years.
He warned his council would have no choice but to add the $20 million to rates bills or cut services by the same amount.
In a scathing letter to all Sunshine Coast state MPs, Mr Jamieson warned ratepayers should not be left to foot the "multi-million-dollar gift" to Noosa council.
The $40 million already handed over since de-amalgamation was part of the agreed process on advice from the Queensland Treasury Corporation.
The regional council believes it owes just $582,000.
Should the Sunshine Coast Council hand over another $20m to Noosa?
This poll ended on 09 August 2015.
Yes, if it's the difference between Noosa surviving or not.
Yes, otherwise this will drag on and get messy.
No, Noosa Council needs to pay its own way. Simple.
You have got to be joking. They should have paid us to split.
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
Mr Jamieson said it was "alarming" the Noosa council was making a bid for another $20 million, which was "absolutely contrary to the Transfer Committee's agreed process".
He urged Sunshine Coast MPs to help block the request.
"It is dead wrong. There's no way in the world that this impost should be loaded on to Sunshine Coast ratepayers," he wrote.
"If this happens we will have no choice but to either to put this on to rates or slice off $20 million from the capital works program, for argument's sake, or cut $20 million from other services.
"Clearly, this will have an impact on Sunshine Coast residents.
"While I don't have any further responsibilities to Noosa, I have a strong commitment to the Sunshine Coast and they should not have to pay for this."
Before de-amalgamation, Local Government Minister David Crisafulli and Queensland Treasury Corporation warned the split would cost more than $13 million.
When Noosa won the vote and de-amalgamated, mayor Noel Playford touted the successes of the new council's cost-cutting measures in reducing that figure to just $2.23 million.
"How can you possibly justify asking your neighbours to fork out another $20 million so Noosa Council can deliver on the undertaking they promised their community, when they were clearly wrong," Mr Jamieson said.
"If there is any doubt at all on any cost then it should always fall in favour of Sunshine Coast residents who never had a say in it, had no opportunity to express their opinion.
"Consideration must be given to Sunshine Coast residents who didn't demand de-amalgamation but are happy for Noosa to carry on and make it work.
"But Noosa has voted and now they have to pay."
Mr Jamieson said Noosa Shire Council had not provided his council with details of the submission but he believed it was based on "non-agreed calculation and methodology".
"I have no doubt that you will share my concern that your electors and Sunshine Coast ratepayers may be placed in a position of providing a multi-million-dollar gift to Noosa Shire Council to support its establishment and ongoing operations," he wrote to Coast MPs.
The Daily sent Noosa Council a detailed list of questions but Mr Playford, who was attending a conference in Gympie, responded with a two-sentence statement.
"These matters are part of the separation of assets of the two councils as part of de-amalgamation," he wrote.
"Issues not agreed between the CEOs are referred to the Minister as called for by the process."