Noosa Heads on an Elegantly Dressed Wednesday
A heartfelt SOS has reached me from my spiritual homeland
Instead of using its acquired acumen to calmly dissect the paltry case put forward by the State Government and draw up a credible proposal for alternative arrangements for joint service delivery that don't involve getting all the garbage trucks repainted, Noosa hit the panic button and managed to come across as a bunch of hysterical Nimbys about to be invaded by the hoi polloi. ‘We’re a niche market’, Noosa Council informed the Commission. ‘Do you need any help constructing the electric fence?’ the Commission helpfully replied – NOT.
The council has headed its campaign Keep Noosa Special. Why not just say No Blacks, No Irish, No Dogs? As if that isn’t bad enough, they’ve subtitled it 'It’s Ours!!' Two explanation marks – wow, someone means business. Even worse, they’ve got a picture of pariah for hire ‘Sir’ Richard Branson in a prominent position on the publicity material. Yes, the patron saint of self-interest himself is the visible figurehead of this campaign. Was Rupert Murdoch not available? Do I need to point out that Branson owns one of the airlines that use the local airport? Did no one think that a billionaire foreign businessman fronting a campaign on behalf of a community of ordinary, caring Australians might seem a tad incongruous? I could weep.
But that’s not all. The top line is not the only aspect of all this that makes me cringe. Get into the body of the ‘argument’ and you find howlers so crude, they’d even laugh about them in Hackney. Noosa makes the case for itself as an ‘iconic brand’. Whatever happened to ‘village community’? In a rare moment of clarity, the Commission tore this one to shreds.
‘The notion that Noosa is a tourism icon is not disputed by the Commission. However, the Noosa Shire Council is not iconic and it is unlikely that any visitors to the shire would have any interest in or contact with, the council in the normal course of their holiday visit.’
Ouch! Who’s image managing this, Britney Spears?
Worse still, someone hasn’t fully understood the Government’s proposal as one of the objections put forward by Noosa is,
‘Noosa’s autonomy would be lost in a combined
Did no one read the guidance before putting finger to keyboard? What is this ring-fenced ‘we’? Are we to believe that all the residents of neighbouring Maroochy and Caloundra are pro high-rise? The proposal is for 12 councillors and one mayor on an undivided basis. Your ability to influence decisions is most certainly under threat dears, but not for that reason, for this reason. Currently the three areas have a combined population of 290,000 with a total of 34 elected representatives between them. In twenty years time the projected population of 474,000 will be represented by just 13. That’s what you need to be worrying about.
Noosa Council is very proud of the mass support it’s been able to generate with nearly 32,000 form letters and postcards being despatched from a population of just over 48,000. That equals the number of people who are registered to vote but it’s not to say the protests all came from individuals or Noosa residents. The report makes it very clear that the Commission was unimpressed, dismissing the deluge as orchestrated – which it very obviously is.
True democracy is based on individual participation and not mass mailing. Whilst we’re on the subject of a moral high ground,
So – what have I been asked to do? Plead with you to deliver more of the same to an already pissed-off government in the next few days. If the cause appeals to you, please do so. I’m going to, not because it makes sense, but because I know what the people of Noosa are trying to achieve, no matter how clumsily it’s being executed.
I will say this to Noosa – you have ballsed up rather royally so I suggest you stop panicking and start making friends with your fellow citizens along the coast if you want to galvanise people power against the developers camped on your doorstep waiting for the axe to fall. And for effsake, learn how to mount an argument without sounding like you’re running a