Coast residents, businesses 'stunned' on Noosa change
COOLOOLA Coast people are "stunned and concerned” at proposed electoral boundary changes which would make Rainbow Beach part of Noosa, Gympie state MP Tony Perrett said yesterday.
He said residents and business owners who want to stop the plan, which would carve Rainbow Beach from the rest of the Cooloola Coast, will need to make their opinions known.
"They have less than three weeks until March 27 to make a submission if they are opposed to the draft boundaries,” he said.
But Rainbow Beach Commerce and Tourism Association president Mark Beech, whose organisation hosted the meeting, said people in favour of the proposed new boundary should also be respected, although he believed they may be in a minority.
"Everyone with a view should know how to make submissions,” he said.
The change, put forward by the Queensland Redistribution Commission, would leave Cooloola Cove and Tin Can Bay in Mr Perrett's Gympie electorate, but would take all their waterways into Noosa, along with Rainbow Beach and Inskip Point.
Differences of opinion between the two areas particularly include attitudes to vehicle beach access fees, relatively popular in Noosa and unpopular at Rainbow Beach.
Only protests from Rainbow Beach succeeded in excluding Inskip Point from the area proposed for the fees.
As The Gympie Times reported exclusively at the time, the plan was recommended by a secret committee composed mostly of Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service officers and members of the Noosa Parks Association, including some described as independent community representatives.
Years of protest ultimately resulted in Rainbow Beach residents being exempted from the fees.
Such differences have highlighted uncertainty about the possible influence of a future Noosa representative on the government of the day and whether such a representative would give enough weight to Rainbow Beach opinions.
Mr Perrett said the clear feeling of a public meeting at Rainbow Beach this week was against the plan.
"Concerns raised included having no community of interest with Noosa, the problems trying to get to and from Noosa without a proper road or direct public transport and being separated from services provided through Gympie.”
He said Tin Can Bay and Cooloola Cove residents are also upset "that the close knit coastal region will be split”.
Submissions can be made online or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
They can also be posted to The secretary, Queensland Redistribution Commission, GPO Box 1393, Brisbane, 4001.
Mr Perrett said it was up to residents and community groups to have their say.