Wide Bay MP Warren Truss.
Wide Bay MP Warren Truss.

Noosa not alone in wanting split

A SURVEY of voters in the federal seat of Wide Bay indicates that Noosa's passionate opposition to being part of an amalgamated council refuses to simmer down.

Prior to Labor's forced 2008 council amalgamations throughout the state, more than 95% of voters in a Noosa plebiscite said "no" to becoming part of a Sunshine Coast regional council.

The plebiscite was not compulsory, but almost 70% took the opportunity to vote.

Shortly after this year's council elections, Wide Bay MP Warren Truss, whose electorate takes in Noosa, had about 4000 constituents respond to a survey that canvassed a range of local, state and federal issues.

According to Mr Truss, what came through was a strong disquiet about forced amalgamations that went far beyond Noosa.

He said 80% of responding voters in the old Noosa Shire said they wanted a referendum on de-amalgamation, while 15% said no to a split from the Sunshine Coast Council.

The Nationals leader said only 10% of respondents from the Wide Bay electorate living in the Sunshine Coast Council area were satisfied with the amalgamation compared with 83% who were not happy.

Gympie Regional Council received the best acceptance, with 11% of respondents from the area satisfied with the amalgamation of their council compared with 69% who were not. In the South Burnett Regional Council area, 9% of respondents thought the amalgamation had been successful, 76% believed it unsuccessful.

Respondents in the Fraser Coast Regional Council area were the most disenchanted, with just 6% of residents giving amalgamations the thumbs up, while 85% were unhappy. Mr Truss said overall 68% supported a referendum on whether their council should de-amalgamate.

Those in favour of a de-amalgamation referendum were as follows:

Fraser Coast - 68% yes, 21% no; Gympie - 52% yes, 32% no; South Burnett Regional Council - 53%, 31% no.

"While some people thought that a referendum would be a waste of time and money and would not lead to any beneficial change, the result demonstrates that people do want the government to listen to their concerns."

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