LNP win to lead to split review
NOOSA'S future freedom is in the hands of 2,746,844 Queenslanders tomorrow, even if most of the eligible voters in the State Election will be blissfully unaware of the fact.
If the polling is right and there is a 10% swing to the LNP, Queensland is about to have an emphatic change of government and that will have a profound impact on Noosa.
That is because the leader of the LNP, Campbell Newman, this week released his 100-day plan, should his party win government as is expected and almost conceded by Premier Anna Bligh, who has been campaigning to not let the LNP have too much power.
On the Campbell plan, even though it is the last of a very long list, is the course of action that has been keeping spirits high in the Noosa Independence Alliance's fight for de-amalgamation from Sunshine Coast Regional Council.
Regardless of whether Mr Newman wins the knife-edge seat of Ashgrove to become premier, the LNP government Can Do actions include:
"Appoint a boundaries commissioner to examine local government boundaries, with priority given to Noosa and Port Douglas."
Mr Newman first made this commitment in the office of the member for Noosa Glen Elmes in August last year.
The LNP also endorsed, "That ratepayers of the proposed new local authority will bear the full costs of the de-amalgamation process".
"ONCE the boundaries and the financial position have been identified, residents living within the proposed new council area will, by a simple majority, vote whether or not they wish to establish a new Noosa Shire Council."
Since making this commitment, Premier Anna Bligh has not once released an official statement - as can be checked on the State Government website - on this subject, despite making close to 300 statements posted there, including one in October last year congratulating Mayor Bob Abbot and Sunshine Coast Council for dropping its legal action over the State Government's steamrolling them on the Caloundra South housing development.
On August 10, then Deputy Premier Paul Lucas said this about Mr Newman's plans for a boundary review:
"Amalgamation strengthens local governments and delivers better services for ratepayers. Campbell Newman wants to undo all that to please voters in Noosa and placate Glen Elmes.
"There's no guarantee he won't repeat this exercise across Queensland, which would take our state backwards and increase rates as local governments struggle to cope with the costs," he said.
"We won't be doing what the LNP want to do.
"We won't be wasting time or money undoing the work that has strengthened Queensland councils and resulted in better services for ratepayers."
On the same day that Mr Lucas was pouring scorn on Noosa's fight for a return to self-determination after the 2008 forced amalgamation, Premier Bligh released a statement congratulating the Sunshine Coast for securing the ICC under-19 Cricket World Cup 2012.
In September 2008, Premier Bligh said about a proposal by the LNP to let councils consider de-amalgamating:
"My government will be looking squarely at the future of local government. We will not be looking to the past. We will not be working to unscramble the egg."
NIA has calculated that local council charges have increased by 70% in the past four years of de-amalgamation.
If the LNP wins government from Labor there should be nothing stopping Noosa from having a vote about setting itself free from a regional council that many residents believe is as out of touch with Noosa sensibilities and values as the Bligh Government is with even its traditional support base.