Mayor Playford says $20 million in cash belongs to Noosa
NOOSA Mayor Noel Playford says the Sunshine Coast Council is trying to take $20 million in cash assets that belongs to the people of Noosa.
Councillor Playford has responded to claims by SCC Mayor Mark Jamieson there is only $582,000 still owed to Noosa after a $40 million cash transfer as part of the de-amalgamation split, saying the southern council could breach the law if it holds on to funds that could only be spent in Noosa.
"What we're talking about is not Sunshine Coast Council's money," Cr Playford said.
"Some of the money is actually held in trust and can only be spent in Noosa Shire by law.
"And, far from trying to rip anyone off, Noosa Council contributed $77 million in cash at the time of amalgamation and even if all these issues were decided in our favour, our total share would be around $60 million.
"So I think that is as good an argument as any - they're trying to take our money," Cr Playford said.
The Noosa Mayor said the State Government decided the transfer committee made up of the two council CEOs would decide how the assets and cash settlements would be decided.
"A few months ago there were three items on which they couldn't agree.
"They were referred to the minister and that was the end of that."
He said when the transfer committee wound up in June, there were five remaining funds disputes.
And Cr Playford has taken a swipe at "talk about Noosa Council engaging in deceptive conduct" over de-amalgamation claims, saying this was "a bit over the top".
"De-amalgamation costs by definition were costs incurred by the transfer team up to 31st December and then by the transfer committee by the 1st January and the 30th June.
"They total approximately $2.6 million.
"Everything else that has occurred has been decisions of Noosa Council in the course of its ordinary business."
He said with relation to the $6.5 million in staff redundancies "people are trying to make out that they are de-amalgamation costs".
"They are not: When Noosa Council was formed we decided on an interim organisational structure which we fine-tuned over the next six months.
"Initially we decided we didn't have positions for a significant number of staff and even subsequent to that - as little as two months ago - we finalised the organisational structure and made some more cuts.
"We made a decision and paid out redundancies of around that figure and we will save that money by the end of the year and from then on we will save that much every year there after.
"What about the people whose positions that the Sunshine Coast Council made redundant - are they de-amalgamation costs?"