Minister opens doors for others to join Noosa split
LOCAL Government Minister David Crisafulli has opened the door for several Sunshine Coast communities to split from the regional council and join Noosa.
And he has admitted Queensland Treasury Corporation's estimate that de-amalgamation of the Coast's councils would cost $13 million and drive up rates had been proven wrong.
Mr Crisafulli said he would be open to Eumundi, Doonan and Verrierdale becoming part of the Noosa Council if there was strong community support and a solid argument was put to both councils and State Government.
The EDV Residents Group has been lobbying for a split from Sunshine Coast Council and is employing an independent consultancy firm to conduct a community survey.
"As I said to the EDV group, you've got to go and talk to both councils and mount a case as to why it's in your interest to move," Mr Crisafulli said.
"That has to be done with both councils - it's not just a case of lobbying frantically to leave one or to go to another, you have to be able to show both that it's justified.
"That can be around cost of service, areas of interest, whatever it is, but mount a case to both and then come to me with that case."
The EDV Residents Group wants to secede because members believe they share a common outlook on the environment and lifestyle with the Noosa Council and spend more time in that shire on a day-to-day basis.
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Mr Crisafulli said any two councils could move their boundaries and he had already "signed off" on some smaller moves as minister.
"In all cases, both councils have said 'hey look, this is in our interest, in our case it's costing us more to service, over here they can do it'."
Noosa Shire residents had no rates rise in the budget last month, despite warnings from Mr Crisafulli and Sunshine Coast mayor Mark Jamieson that the de-amalgamation would cost more than $13 million and add about $260 to rates notices.
Noosa CEO Brett de Chastel said it was simply a matter of cutting costs, which included shopping on eBay instead of furniture catalogues and cutting on company cars.
It did have to pay for the cost of de-amalgamation in the budget, with $2.57 million in costs approved by the transfer committee.
Mr Crisafulli commended Noosa Council for its performance, but warned that "some additional de-amalgamation costs that haven't been factored in yet" were still on the way.
"Councils can always cut their costs to suit and find opportunities to find savings and I think they've done a good job of that.
"We just keep encouraging that, keep on looking to cut the costs to suit and to keep making savings at every opportunity."
He could not put a figure on the remaining costs, as they were based on things the transitional committee had not yet agreed on.