Noosa demands decisive action to restore balance for residents

No one could have missed this week’s public call to action to arrest the decline in a range of ‘lifestyle’ issues and the way we manage Noosa as a tourism destination.

It was a clear message that even our most tin-eared tourism trumpeters would have heard loud and clear.

It came in the form of a summary of the consultation carried out by Noosa Council in September and October, gauging what people think about the way we are managing everything from over-tourism and congestion to the environment and our tsunami of Short Term accommodation businesses spreading like anti-social weeds across the shire.

In every case, on every issue, the feedback was clear; a demand for decisive action, not tinkering around the edges.  It was a message that all is not well in Noosa.  That we need to correct our course urgently.

This graph tells the story of the public feedback.  The towering green line on each major issue is a call for “transformational” change in the way Noosa is managed. In other words, residents are deeply dissatisfied with how we are currently handling each of these issues.

Consultant’s report on community feedback calling for change

To its credit, the report’s summary acknowledged deep community disquiet over the lack of action in recent years: 

“The community feels it has been providing feedback on these and similar issues for many years.   Many participants could provide summaries of past consultation processes and the perceived lack of Council action.”

Noosa Council report

And on the Short Term Accommodation disaster in Noosa, another acknowledgement of the seething anger of residents:  

There continues to be widespread concern over the detrimental effects of STAs and the unintended consequences of Council policies.  There is strong and clear demand to limit STAs, especially in residential areas, to help address housing availability and a call for better enforcement of Council policies on this issue.

Noosa Council report

The feedback was that we must take decisive action on transport, Environment, Waste Management, Destination Marketing, Accommodation (STA), Visitor Experience, Events (over-tourism) and Governance. 

But not everyone heard this community cry for action.  The creatively spun world of the Mayor’s Media Release claims our Council is, in fact, going in the right direction.

“This clearly shows we are working towards a good outcome and reiterates the importance of getting the balance right,” Cr Stewart said. 

In fact, the report shows precisely the opposite.  Our Council is failing to take these issues seriously, and the public is telling them so.

Every candidate for the Noosa Council election in March needs to read this report and respond publicly about what they plan to do about these massive issues that Council is currently failing to manage.

In recent decades, there’ve been times when our Council has shown leadership and pushed itself out in front of public opinion.  This is not one of those times.  

Our politically riven Council has fallen dangerously behind the public mood for change and better management of lifestyle and environment issues.  They need to catch up.


This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    An admission that use of volunteers to provide community services is no longer viable because changing demographics and deteriorating social fabric means there are not enough and Council has to step up itself. Other places with short term letting problems have had success with 30 day minimum let, 90 day maximum let per year, vacant house taxes. Workers in this community should not be forced to pay tourist prices for housing. $100 pn for a dorm bed or#60pn for an unpowered site and the campervan crew need to be properly looked after if they are working here rather than being fined

  2. Avatar

    So well said Ric. Noosa Matters is a must read to save us from this current Council leadership or lack of it

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