FREE WEEKEND BUSES FOR NOOSA, BUT NOT FOR US
Next week Noosa Council will consider a report that would exclude Peregian Beach, Marcus and Castaways from a FREE WEEKEND BUS service.
Our community has been blindsided by this misconceived plan because there has been zero consultation in this part of Noosa Shire. Nothing.
Under this is a letter we have sent to all Councillors. Please feel free to let them know what you think.
Item 9. Free Weekend Bus Trial
I refer to this item which is up for discussion at Monday’s General Committee without appropriate meaningful community consultation.
PBCA would normally be supportive of an initiative such as this which reduces emissions, traffic congestion and car parking requirements by encouraging residents to utilise public transport.
However, this proposed partial “free weekend bus trial” clearly discriminates against residents in Peregian Beach, Marcus Beach and Castaways Beach by excluding them.
This fact is exacerbated by employing ratepayer funds collected in part from the coastal strip to subsidise “free services” elsewhere in the shire which are explicitly not to be provided for those ratepayers from Peregian Beach, Marcus and Castaways.
Approaches to Peregian Beach have become notorious as one of Noosa Shire’s most congested areas and must be considered with equal weight given to other popular parts of the shire.
The Council report that states baldly that “Services that operate outside of the shire are not able to be offered as a free service” is unsupported by evidence or argument.
It is possible to include the Northbound 620 service after it enters Noosa Shire, and to consider options (albeit imperfect ones) for Southbound 620 passengers.
An obvious alternative would be for Council to fund the 064 bus which it does on this route at Christmas to overcome this discriminatory situation.
It is unreasonable to exclude a significant number of Noosa ratepayers from this initiative because it is administratively a little easier than conducting a genuine shire-wide trial.
Council should also reflect on the statement that “Staff have been in consultation with the Hastings Street Association who are supported by the Noosa Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc., Cooroy Chamber of Commerce Inc., Noosa Junction Association and Noosaville Business Association in requesting Council implement the trial”.
It appears no business or community groups along the Eastern Beaches have been included in this selective “consultation”. PBCA was never consulted and was totally unaware of this “consultation”.
If Council does intend to pursue a clearly discriminatory public transport policy, we will need to consider a campaign seeking local rate adjustments to account for a misconceived scheme whereby some ratepayers are subsidising free public transport elsewhere in the shire which they are prevented from accessing.
However, before Council adopts its current inappropriate suggestion we request that it engage in meaningful consultation with residents on the 620 bus route about an alternative to NO FREE TRIAL FOR PEREGIAN, MARCUS, CASTAWAYS AND SUNRISE BEACHES.
We look forward to your urgent response on the above issue.