Noosa Mayor Noel Playford.
Noosa Mayor Noel Playford.

Noosa Biosphere boss hits out

A WAR of words has erupted between Mayor Noel Playford and the head of its governing body Dr Sue Davis over the Noosa Biosphere management review.

Dr Davis, the chairwoman of Noosa Biosphere Ltd, this week launched a stinging attack on the Noosa mayor's conduct during the review of the management model, accusing Cr Playford of a "bewildering and rude display of political grandstanding" over public comments on the NBL.

She seized on comments made in the local media and at public review sessions and accused Cr Playford of "presenting incorrect information as fact, sharing unfavourable personal opinions and, altogether, undermining our achievements and capacity for enterprise building".

"In my opinion he's either completely out of touch and not prepared to listen or he's following a pre-determined agenda," Dr Davis said.

The mayor has hit back just as hard.

He said he was far from impressed by Dr Davis practising "wedge politics".

"It's obvious the seven elected (council) members will be deciding this review - it's just a common move to drive a wedge between me, because I'm the one being attacked, and the councillors," Cr Playford said.

"She's obviously fighting to retain her position and thinks if she drives a wedge between us, the outcome is more likely to favour her."

Mayor Playford accused Dr Davis of doing a "John Lobb", a reference to the outspoken de-amalgamation opponent and mayoral critic, by attacking local community groups.

This was after Dr Davis questioned Cr Playford's comment that he wanted to see the community engaged with the Noosa Biosphere Reserve project and not continue with what we've got.

"What does Noel mean by the word 'community'? Does he really mean the Noosa Parks Association/Noosa Biosphere Association community?" she asked.

This was a reference to two organisations that have been accused by Mr Lobb and others of trying to take over the running of the NBL.

"We entered into the management model review process in good faith, and with expectations of being treated fairly and equitably by all members of council's (review) working party," Dr Davis said.

"But this has not happened."

She said that the "NBL had expectations, perhaps naively, that Noel would conduct his review from a neutral standpoint or would be professional enough to at least give that impression".

Cr Playford said such an attack on community organisations such as the NPA had "never to my knowledge happened in my public life in Noosa".