Former Speaker and Sunshine Coast MP Peter Slipper has called for a vote against de-amalgamation when Noosa voters vote on Saturday in a referendum on the future of the Sunshine Coast.
In a statement Mr Slipper has said, “It would be both sad and economically damaging if Noosa voted to leave the Sunshine Coast.
For years the Sunshine Coast has suffered because instead of being a strong united entity we were three separate communities of Caloundra, Maroochy and Noosa.
This has put the Sunshine Coast at a marked disadvantage compared with the Gold Coast when lobbying for much needed infrastructure to meet the needs of our growing population, which is expected to double in the next 15 years.
While a successful de-amalgamation vote would see Noosa as the big loser in that it will no longer be part of the Sunshine Coast, what is left of the Sunshine Coast would also be disadvantaged. Ex Caloundra and Maroochy residents would also suffer. The residual Sunshine Coast Council would be tiny compared with the Gold Coast and Noosa itself would be totally insignificant and irrelevant when trying to lobby governments.
Governments at State and Federal level like to deal with strong regional entities and they are always more effective than a host of tiny councils from the same area all lobbying in competition with one another.
While few people on the Sunshine Coast wants our area to become another “Gold Coast” the lobbying power of it as a large united entity has paid dividends for those who live there.
“Balkanisation” of the Sunshine Coast is the last thing we need. If Noosa is lost it is only a matter of time before Caloundra or Maroochy would want to secede and then we would be completely back to the bad old days of disunity with parts of what used to be the Sunshine Coast lobbying and competing with other parts for the attention of Governments.”
Mr Slipper suggests that Noosa voters consider very carefully both the costs of amalgamation and the huge disadvantage it would cause not only to Noosa but to the whole Sunshine Coast community.