Thanks to distinctive differences, and in large part because Noosa has not been ‘citified’, our local economy and enviable lifestyle have been a success story for decades.
Could unwelcome change be on the way?
Three years ago the Federal and State Governments signed a Statement of Intent with the SEQ Council of Mayors “to work together to design and implement a City Deal” for South East Queensland.
Right up front, the Statement of Intent claims that “in the period to 2041, the region is expected to accommodate an additional 1.9 million residents”. That’s a 50% increase on the current 3.8 million.
Despite all the usual gobbledegook promises like the City Deal leaving ‘a lasting legacy’, providing ‘high quality jobs’ and supporting ‘sustainable development’, it’s really all about supporting population growth. As Deputy Premier Miles proudly proclaimed, ‘this City Deal puts us on a path to manage population growth’.
But miraculously the City Deal is also going to ‘improve the environment’ despite the expectation of an additional 800,000 homes.
Noosa Council has now signed up to a ‘shared commitment to transform SEQ’. Surely they understand that the only transformation that will satisfy some big developers is wall to wall housing from the border to Noosa? And the biggest financial contributors to both major parties over many years are used to getting what they want.
Say goodbye to Noosa’s strong economy and lifestyle, bit by bit.
You can expect cries of denial from Pelican Street over any hint of a sellout. But the name says it all – CITY DEAL. It could have been a Regional Deal, like the Hinkler Regional Deal, the Barkly Regional Deal, or the Albury Wodonga Region Deal. But that would not have suited the politicians keen to deliver for their party contributors.
I suspect our Councillors may be asleep at the wheel, and don’t understand the potential implications of what’s happening. Surely they wouldn’t knowingly risk so much for so little. Of the $1.8 billion over 20 years (half a billion contributed by the councils), $450 million is promised for a Brisbane Metro Gabba Station.
Then an official SEQ CITY DEAL document has a page titled ‘Deal at a Glance’ with a map showing the location of 15 projects in SEQ. The map doesn’t even include Noosa Shire.
If the deal “provides a shared commitment to transform SEQ” as is claimed, then it can only transform Noosa into the opposite of what locals have worked for and value.
The irony is that our Council has committed us to paying to belong to a deal that promises to cost us so much more in the future. This deal sounds more like Noosa’s Ultimate Sellout.