'Selective figures' used in debate

DE-AMALGAMATION lobby group Free Noosa says Sunshine Coast Regional Council seems to be engaged in a campaign against de-amalgamation and has criticised it for using council resources to produce "selective figures" on intended capital spending in Divisions 11 and 12.

These two council divisions take in the old Noosa Shire, which the Free Noosa campaign, run by the Noosa Independence Alliance, is seeking to win back as a stand-alone council through a State Government-instigated boundary review process.

"The SCRC and its elected councillors are being paid to represent our interests, not engage in a political campaign against the clear interests of a majority of Noosa people," Free Noosa chairman Noel Playford said this week.

The former Noosa mayor said local residents would be deeply cynical of the selective figures being pushed out by unnamed council sources.

"Council's own figures show that Division 11, which contains most of the Noosa population, is contributing far more in revenue than any other division," he said.

"Simply giving capital works figures is a deceptive fraction of the whole picture.

"What about the provision of services?

"We already know we've lost free waste vouchers and annual kerbside bulk collections."

Mr Playford said this was on top of huge reductions in maintenance of roads and parks and gardens, while rates had shot up.

"Why isn't the council talking about this?"

Free Noosa is conducting a petition of residents and will soon hand over a submission.

The process will be decided by the Minister for Local Government.

"If there are anonymous people on the SCRC now conducting a media spin campaign against de-amalgamation, perhaps they should re-acquaint themselves with the conflict-of-interest provisions," Mr Playford said.

He said council had already wasted $70,000 of ratepayers' money on a discredited report on de-amalgamation costs.

"It sure says something about a huge council that sees no problem with spending our money on opposing a volunteer community movement."

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