Make your vote count at the next state election.
Make your vote count at the next state election. Thinkstock

Future is in voters' hands

VOTERS have a rare opportunity at the state election in 12 months to really exert influence about who will represent the region as it enters a critical point in its history.

Redrawn boundaries, the potential for an additional seat, the shake-up that will come from Steve Dickson's defection to One Nation in Buderim and Nicklin independent Peter Wellington's decision to retire collectively unsettle ground that has been dominated by the blue colours of the LNP.

Real contests loom in seats which were previously considered "safe”, affording a chance for voters to send a clear message they should not be taken for granted by any party.

By making their decisions 12 months early, Mr Dickson and Mr Wellington have afforded ample opportunity not only for residents to make considered decisions, but also for all political parties to carefully measure their policies and budget commitments to the Sunshine Coast.

Voters will have no one but themselves to blame if they elect representatives who fail to deliver.

Mr Dickson says win, lose or draw for him in Buderim, he is convinced his decision to shift to One Nation has made every Coast seat marginal. What is certain is that nothing concentrates the minds of political parties more than the need to win over marginal seats.

Past outcomes tell us that is not the case where parties either believe they have a lock on a seat or no chance of winning it.