If you’re happy and you know it, you really ought to show it, and Noosa residents have done just that by scoring highly on the Regional Wellbeing Survey facilitated by the University of Canberra.
The survey results revealed that Noosa is generally happier than other regional areas of Queensland and Australia.
Noosa Council’s Mayor, Tony Wellington said, “This is a great result. Noosa residents are fundamentally positive in almost all areas of perceived wellbeing - personal, community, financial, health, environment, access to services plus community leadership.”
“From my own research in this field, I am aware that connection with one's community is a critical factor in wellbeing. This survey demonstrated that Noosa was above state and national averages for sense of belonging, with positive responses to the statements 'I feel welcome here,' and 'I feel part of my community.' To me that is a very significant indicator that this is a great place to live and that our residents are highly engaged.”
“The only area of some concern was that Noosa residents believed we have a high crime rate. Actual crime figures do not support this perception, with Noosa having lower than state or national crime statistics. Oddly, although Noosa respondents were concerned about crime, they were also more inclined to agree with the statement that Noosa is a safe place to live. So there was an inexplicable disjunct in responses to this topic.”
People living in Noosa filled out more surveys than any other region in the country, with 320 residents completing the survey.
Given this level of engagement, perhaps it was not surprising that the results of the survey also revealed that Noosa residents believe their views are being heard. Noosa had higher than average agreement rates to 'I can get involved in local decision-making processes if I want to,' and also to 'The people who make decisions for my community represent the whole community, not just part of it.'
To the statement 'My local government is able to help our community face challenges', Noosa respondents who agreed hit 74% compared with a state average of 47%.
"Council became involved in the survey so that we can measure any changes to wellbeing and community perceptions over time," Mayor Wellington said. "The statistics for this first year of Noosa's involvement provide a useful benchmark."
"All costs associated with collating and tabulating results were met by the University of Canberra. Noosa Council spent no money on promotion or participation."
12,891 people from rural and regional Australia took part in the survey.
For a copy of the survey results, please visit council’s website at www.noosa.qld.gov.au.