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Premier Peter Beattie's Forced Amalgamation

Free Noosa Organizes

Overwhelming Vote & New Noosa's Council's Future

Learn and Discover more about Noosa



On (Saturday) 9 March 2013, residents of Noosa, along the east coast of Queensland, Australia, voted with the strength of an 80 percent block of ratepayers to take back their government. Officially, it’s call de-amalgamation. To most Noosa residents, it’s freedom and to some other residents of the Sunshine Coast Council, it’s divorce. Ask former Noosa mayor, Noel Playford, about de-amalgamation and you’re in for a discussion about lifestyle and a biosphere. As he was instrumental in Noosa’s overwhelming success on their vote, Playford might be a part of the new Noosa government. But, to understand Noosa’s future, one must look at its history.

A Shadowy Place, or Is It?

Noosa might be as misunderstood as its name. Most definitions about the word, “Noosa,” describe it as having Aboriginal roots, derived from the Kabi Kabi language and the word Noothera or Gnuthuru, which means shadow or a shadowy place. But, Dr. Eve Fesl, who has a doctorate in linguistics and is a Gubbi Gubbi language speaker, explains that noosa, nothera and gnuthuru are not words in the Aboriginal language.

Furthermore, the consonant “s” is absent from Gubbi Gubbi language. She says that Noosa most likely comes from the Indonesian word “nusa,” which means island.See for a full description.

A common perception among communities of the world is that economic progress equals success. That might be fine, but today’s residents of Noosa don’t equate economic success with urban sprawl. They prefer a more environmental approach to their economy. So, when you drive through Noosa, you won’t see stoplights. Skyscrapers are outlawed. If a builder suggests a fifth floor on a new building, it won’t be allowed in Noosa. The limit is four floors on structures in Noosa. There’s even a limit on Noosa’s population.

Noosa community pressure and political action means that remaining trees stay in place. As much as 35 percent of the Noosa District is in national parks, conservation parks, state forests or some form of land protection. Noosa even worked with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to create the first biosphere in Queensland. The Noosa Biosphere involves approximately 150,000 hectares of freshwater, tidal and forested area, which showcase examples of sustainable development that are made possible through partnerships with Noosa residents.

The whole premise with the Noosa Biosphere is to promote harmony with the enactment of conservation methods that match management with the culture of the area and create a sustainable economy with nature in mind.

But, the bottom line with the formation of the Noosa Biosphere was to fight the loss of identity that came with the formation of the Sunshine Coast Regional Council, the combination of the former Noosa Shire with neighboring Shire of Maroochy and City of Caloundra to create the fourth largest municipal government in Australia.