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De-Amalgamation Jubilation

Mothar MountainWith more than 80% of the Noosa community eligible to vote supporting de-amalgamation, a long shadow cast by the development and financial threats of forced amalgamation at the behest of the Bligh government five years ago has been dispersed. Once again, Noosa will be free to pursue its local, sustainable destiny in accordance with the locally developed strategic plan and UNESCO biosphere status, with precious green corridors and limitations on subdivision intact.

Anytime someone tries to tell you ‘you can’t stop progress’, tell them the Noosa story. You can’t stop progress that is truly progressive, protects environmental values, and has a whole, involved community behind it committed to living sustainably. The Noosa model works – our Noosa UNESCO designated biosphere offers a means and strategy to help humans even in the ‘developed’ neoliberal world to live in balance within their habitat, sustain ecodiversity, protecting waterways and forests forever. Our model should be replicated and implemented nationally.

As I’ve previously versified:

‘Privatising neoliberalism
seems to lack a solid vision,
hollow ‘perish or populate’
with rabbit warrens all over the state,
since when was overpopulation
any habitat’s salvation?’

After a near lifetime spent in lovely Noosa, once again I can feel proud and secure that hard-won community consensus achievements are viable and defendable. The surreptitious stroke of a pen by politicians beholden to filthy corporate interests who never pay sufficiently for the infrastructure needs and unsustainable population growth they create even as they slip backhanders to grease their exploitation, fails when communities fight to protect their values.

Now we can turn our efforts toward deseating the state LibNat government which despite permitting us a vote and action on de-amalgamation, is mooting horrific schemes like logging national parks and state forests and privatising anything that Bligh couldn’t in accordance with disgraced ex-treasurer Peter Costello’s dodgy recommendations. It should be remembered that Costello approved the sale of Australia’s gold reserves before the price went up, costing Australia $5b, in addition to his failed foreign currency exchange transactions – $2b – $5b – hardly a trustworthy record. These proposed LibNat privatisations, unlike Bligh’s, will be deferred till the next election to become a pivotal issue.

By then, an argument must be made to prove that public ownership is cheaper, more efficient and protects jobs for ordinary people AND can protect the environment, while profits for elite shareholders and bonuses for CEOs pursuant to privatisations gouge the public in perpetuity.

May Your Presents Not Be Plastic This Year

GingerThis solstice, celebrate trees with their gift of diversity and life, conserve dwindling resources from human predation, and aim at ending all tyrannies, capitalism, racism and bigotry and especially US imperial hegemony, the dominion of apartheid Israel over Indigenous Palestinians and Indonesia over West Papuans.

In the home zone, here’s to de-amalgamation of Noosa from the development-crazed southern Sunshine Coast vultures and protection of our UNESCO-designated biosphere in March – even if the rest of the planet goes down due to pollution and over-consumption, at least we succeeded in living in harmonious sustainability with the environment in Noosa!

Me to parent as one surveys the mountains of child-placating crap: ‘Wow, what a lot of plastic!’

Parent: ‘I never got anything at Christmas as a child so I am making sure my kids get everything!’

Me: ‘So you really spent thousands of dollars on yourself.’

Parent: ‘We can spend hours together building this rare R2D2 lego model!’

Me to child: ‘Did you get any books?’

Child: ‘No, just this instruction manuel for Power Rangers’.

This society is not built for me.

Free Noosa – De-amalgamate!

Noosa from National ParkThe Free Noosa submission for de-amalgamation is now available – it is sustainable, green, sensible and financial!

Here’s my poem inspired by our community’s principled move toward de-amalgamation.

De-Amalgamation, At Last

Since the last election,
Oh Blight of all our lives,
the developers lament
for she was their delight.
Devine Homes perched upon the Board
which pulled our grassroots out,
Has she learnt her lesson?
The people showed their clout.
Who wants concrete wall to wall
as far as eye can see,
Who wins the real benefit?
not our community.

She thought of what to sell
We knew her plot too well
She and those dirty mates
wouldn’t share our living hell.
Where she saw dollars we see sense,
the rich gobble their swill at our expense,
when all we wanted
was to present pristine
environment in perpetuity,
sustainable and green.

What use covetous sanctimony,
preaching economic productivity?
In the dark with greedy mates
they signed away our dear shire’s fate,
stole our savings and overrated
was that the plan when she amalgamated?
Is it true democracy
that promotes developers’ profligacy?
Privatising neoliberalism
seems to lack a solid vision,
hollow perish or populate
with rabbit warrens all over the state,
since when was overpopulation
any habitat’s salvation?

She slunk away and we prevailed
She wouldn’t listen to our tale,
‘We must have progress’
she sighed and bleated,
too late, Blight,
you’re gone, unseated!

Noosa Moves Toward De-Amalgamation

Lake Cootharaba
Protecting our Noosa environmental assets from development is essential – both for their intrinsic ecological values and to ensure a prosperous future for Noosa’s major industry – green tourism.
As I contemplate the ongoing zionist invasion of Palestine against the popular will of Indigenous Palestinian people, this happy local event reminds me that privileged white people are winning in a predominantly white democracy where Indigenous people are marginalised.

On another level however, this first step toward Noosa’s de-amalgamation from the Sunshine Coast Regional Council represents what a community can do from the grassroots to redress undemocratic wrongs – the forced amalgamation by the Blight government and theft of our successful shire’s money to prop up two unfinancial southern shires ravaged by Councils complicit with developers’ unsustainable greed.

NOOSA’S bid to separate from the Sunshine Coast Regional Council is one step closer to success.

Local Government Minister David Crisafulli announced this morning he would progress Noosa’s application for de-amalgamation to the Boundaries Commissioner for further consideration.

Noosa is only one of five successful applicants.

Nineteen former shires applied for de-amalgamation.

Boundaries Commissioner Col Meng and the Queensland Treasury Corporation will work together over the next two and half months to consider the cases for de-amalgamation.

“This was always going to be a difficult process but if a proposal stacks up, the community will make the final decision at a referendum,” he said.

Free Noosa chairman Noel Playford says he’s delighted that Noosa has made the cut, although not surprised.

“Let’s be honest, if our submission had not made it to the next stage, then nothing would.”

Mr Playford took Noosa’s 70-page submission and a petition of residents to the Minister’s office late last month.

He says the Boundaries Commissioner and his staff will soon be heading for Noosa to speak with local people and gauge for himself just how deep is the passion for de-amalgamation.

The former Noosa mayor said it was a once-only shot at breaking away from the “giant Sunshine Coast Regional Council”.

“For those who want to protect our balance of low-key development, lifestyle and natural beauty, we will probably never get another chance.”

Mr Playford has urged local people to make a brief statement to the Boundaries Commissioner on the issue.

“We need people to tell him what they think, why they want their council back. He’s read about the passion for independence in Noosa, but now he needs to see if for himself.”

The Noosa area – a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve – represents an environment on which we humans and the animal and plant species with whom we share a habitat rely. Having respect for the land on which we all depend means having respect for Indigenous values. Noosa will be protected through de-amalgamation – and our environmental and democratic values will prevail.

Participate in the online poll – vote for de-amalgamation of Noosa.

Take action against Israel’s theft of Palestinian land and homes at Silwan.

Related Links

Mr Playford said “the money story” was that Noosa’s 15% of the population was paying 21% of the Coast’s bills.

“A Noosa businessman suggested to me the other day the SCRC is like a giant slug sucking the life out of Noosa. That may be a little over the top but you get the picture.”

Free Noosa
A Sustainable Australia
To vote or not to vote
In our Noosa garden
It’s a busted trike, not a Ferrari, Mr. Beattie

How low could Joe go?

Good on you, Bob … you ARE the man for the big job. A positive future is now possible despite the shoddy, undemocratic amalgamation and one third the previous representation enforced by autocratic State Government decree. The whole Sunshine Coast can incorporate Noosa’s sensible planning for sustainability.

95% of Noosa voters backed the man they know can deliver for the Coast as well as he has done for them. 70% of the entire region selected Bob.

Joe Natoli’s last ditch desperate, repugnant appeal to the Coast’s homophobic bigots is captured for posterity on Youtube. Given Bob Abbot’s resounding majority election to the mayoral job, it seems Joe, in running a negative campaign, vastly underestimated the intelligence of the electorate. The good sense and decency of Coast voters has saved us from an overdevelopment, divisive menace.