Residents oppose amalgamation


An estimated 8000 people rallied at South Bank and marched to state parliament on August 3 to protest the Queensland Labor government's plan for the forced amalgamation of 156 local councils into 72. The majority of the marchers were residents of Noosa shire, who were opposing the inclusion of their council into a Sunshine Coast super-council, involving Noosa, Maroochydore and Caloundra.

Residents are concerned a Maroochydore-dominated Sunshine Coast council would lead to the creation of a new Gold Coast in their area, with high-rise buildings dominating the skyline, and loss of environmental protection. Premier Peter Beattie has proposed legislation to protect "iconic areas" of Queensland, but protesters deny this would be successful against the demands of the big developers. More protests are planned by other councils.