Noel Playford , Member for Noosa Glen Elmes and Friends of Noosa President Bob Ansett celebrate the de-amalgamation victory with hundreds of supporters outside Council Chambers earlier this year.
Noel Playford , Member for Noosa Glen Elmes and Friends of Noosa President Bob Ansett celebrate the de-amalgamation victory with hundreds of supporters outside Council Chambers earlier this year. Geoff Potter

What about ‘us’, council?

NOOSA'S hard-won independence can't come soon enough so it can be in control of its own funding allocations again.

This is the thinking of a community committee adviser to transfer manager Peter Franks who has accused the Coast council of cutting Divisions 11 and 12 out of $136,000 worth of federal grants in the lead-up to de-amalgamation.

Brian Stockwell, who represents Noosa Chamber of Commerce and is the Noosa Residents and Ratepayers president, said the Federal Government had allocated $649,000 for the Sunshine Coast Council from its Regional Development Australia budget.

This allocation, Mr Stockwell said, was based on a proportional model, taking in the size and population of the existing council area.

He is advocating that the sum of $136,000 be wiped off Noosa's de-amalgamations costings that will have to be paid to the Coast council as part of the State Government's terms for the council split.

Mr Stockwell said in his community briefing report: "All council had to do was submit an eligible project or a package of smaller eligible projects to gain access to the grant funds."

He appealed to all Sunshine Coast councillors to ensure that an amount equivalent to 21% of the approved round-five RDA funding to the council be deducted from the transfer costs on the change-over date.

He said an "equitable approach" would have seen the Coast council submit a project of about $136,000 for the Noosa area.

"But Peter Franks advised at the (latest community) meeting that no projects were submitted for Noosa," Mr Stockwell said. "The guidelines for the funding are quite broad and there would have been numerous useful projects that would have been able to be completed by the 2016 deadline in the grant."

A council spokesman said the funding process was not connected to Noosa's local government getting ready to split from the rest of the Coast on January 1.

"The RDA criteria for funding to a local government is for current, shovel-ready projects - and on this basis it has nothing to do with de- amalgamation," the spokesman said.

"No advice has been received from Regional Development Australia that specific project funding has been approved."

Mr Stockwell said a proportional allocation could have helped provide new infrastructure or refurbish existing community facilities, streetscapes and community housing.


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