Tell us what’s the progress score on council split costs

NOOSA'S transfer action plan and progressive costings for de-amalgamation must be released to ratepayers of the new council who will be footing the bill.

That is according to Noosa mayoral candidate Noel Playford, who is concerned about the transparency arrangements being worked through by the two transfer committee members, Noosa transfer manager Peter Franks and Sunshine Coast Council CEO John Knaggs.

"If anyone thinks this process - defined and managed by Brisbane bureaucrats - is perfect and open to scrutiny, they need to take a closer look from a Noosa perspective," the former Noosa mayor said.

"We know that the transfer manager is working on our behalf to prepare the way for our new council to be business-ready on January the 1st next year, and that he's required to develop a transition action plan.

"This plan will affect our council and our future, so why can't we be kept up to date on its development?" he said.

Mr Playford said a de-amalgamation cost statement (DCS) needed to be continually updated and open to public scrutiny.

"The Noosa community has to pay these costs, and those same ratepayers should have access to the DCS," he said.

"We're paying the bill - we're entitled to know what we're getting for our money.

"This two-man committee is deciding the assets and liabilities that will affect every ratepayer. The meetings are not public, but minutes have to be kept to document decisions and should be made public," he said.

Mr Playford said he was happy with some of the progress towards the new council, but a small minority of local people were prepared to sit back and accept the "flawed transfer process - warts and all".

"Anyone who knows me will understand that I will continue to press for a fair deal for Noosa ratepayers and the sort of transparency that some bureaucrats find inconvenient to say the least," he said.

"I remind people that the Sunshine Coast CEO, John Knaggs, has been given the power to transfer between 365 and 450 current employees - of his own choosing - to the new Noosa Council. With that sort of extraordinary power given to him, we need to be kept informed of what's going on.

"This entire process has been set up by people who like to work in the dark, well away from the prying eyes of journalists and ratepayers," Mr Playford said.

Local Government Minister David Crisafulli believes Mr Playford's concerns are unfounded.

"As transfer manager, Mr Franks has to not only answer to the local advisory committee, but as someone who lives in Noosa, he also has to be accountable to everyone in the community," Mr Crisafulli told the Noosa News.

"I wish Mr Playford all the best with his political ambitions and hope the election campaign is run on what is right for Noosa, not what is right for individual interests," he said.


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