News

Why Noosa wants out

SUNSHINE Coast Council's failure to provide a kerbside green-waste collection after this week's storm event was not made with the wellbeing of the community in mind and pointed to deeper problems within the bureaucracy, according to former mayor Bob Abbot.

He described it as a decision that came out of a council that was being more driven by given policy than an open mind.

Mr Abbot said in similar incidents in 2011 and 2012, collections had happened.

"No one seems willing to make a decision,'' he said. "How did one part of the Coast get it and others didn't?''

The former mayor said the regional council's bureaucracy was more process than outcome driven, but in the majority the staff wanted to get on with providing good service.

"But there is an element not willing to let go of their old kingdoms,'' Mr Abbot said. "The bad apples in the organisation made it difficult for the rest to refresh and move on.

"They wouldn't let go of their old ways and that caused real problems.

"The decision not to provide a kerbside pick-up was not made with the general wellbeing of the community in mind.''

Mr Abbot said the regional local authority had all the ability to operate and he had been proud to be the regional leader, but its size meant that the community's personality had been lost.

"The organisation had lost its personality and was too big to develop a new one,'' he said. "It was a government as against being a council.''

The decision to drop the annual kerbside pick-up was symptomatic of the problem.

"That has become a big issue. It's part of the NIA (Noosa Independence Alliance) campaign. It's what Noosa wants and was willing to pay for before and will again,'' he said.

Mr Abbot, the Local Government Association of Queensland's first mayoral mentor after he stepped aside as mayor at the 2012 election, this week declared his support for Noosa's de-amalgamation and revealed he might run as a councillor candidate if the "yes" vote succeeded.

However, he criticised some elements of the NIA's argument for de-amalgamation, saying the need for the regional council he led to reduce service levels had been an outcome of the global financial crisis and came down to a choice that sought to avoid steep rate increases.

Topics:  bob abbot, de-amalgamation



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