FULL RECAP: Watch the Noosa Council candidate debate

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NOOSA Council candidates met at the Noosa Christian Outreach Church last night to debate topics important to local residents and businesses.


The Sunshine Coast Daily and Noosa News streamed the forum live, hosted by the Daily's editor, Nadja Fleet.

Twenty-two candidates have officially registered through the Electoral Commission Queensland to run for Noosa Council.


UNDERWAY: The Noosa Council Election Forum is underway.
UNDERWAY: The Noosa Council Election Forum is underway. Scott Sawyer



THE question of whether, if elected, candidates would resign their current job was put to the queue of hopefuls.

Nathanael Ford declared he would, to focus solely on council, as did Andrew Squires, Tom Wegener, Amelia Lorentson and others.

Mayoral candidates Clare Stewart and Tony Wellington also declared they'd be 100 per cent committed, as full-time mayor.

Alan Lander said he'd continue to play in his band a couple of times a month, if elected to council, while Julien Cahn would continue to be a pro-bono business mentor, as he had done for the past eight years.


CANDIDATES were posed the question of whether they held any connections to key community groups, developers or property industry figures.

It prompted Phil Moran to declare a Noosa Parks Association connection, and he said without the Association there would've been a highway around the national park.

The Future Noosa candidates declared no connections and said they would act independently.

Greg Smith declared he owned a real estate company, but he didn't have a holiday rent roll or did Airbnb.


A QUESTION about whether Hastings Street would be best served as a pedestrian thoroughfare sparked a mix of ideas.

Council candidate Nathanael Ford said he believed it would be best suited, with traffic restricted to deliveries and residents only.

Fellow candidate and Hastings St surfboard shaper Tom Wegener said he didn't believe it was necessary, as parking was only an issue for a very short period, and it didn't require drastic change.

Amelia Lorentson said she would like to see a trial of pedestrian flow changes.

Real estate agent Greg Smith also agreed not much needed to change.

Climate change and a climate emergency were other hot topics, sparking plenty of calls to action.

Council hopeful Alan Lander declared council simply had to do something, as climate change action had to be driven from the grassroots level.

Incumbent councillor Brian Stockwell spoke of the risks posed by coastal erosion, and the health impacts of climate change.


IT WAS inevitable, and the gloves have come off, when the short-term leasing issue raised itself.

Council candidate Greg Smith urged further consultation around the short-term stays matter, which has divided the community.

Mayoral candidate Clare Stewart said it was not a "black and white question".

Mayor Tony Wellington said it was vital to retain amenity for residents and availability of housing in the region.

Incumbent councillor Brian Stockwell passionately outlined the effects of short-term letting and 'party houses' on permanent residents.

ON THE MIC: Joe Jurisevic addresses the crowd.
ON THE MIC: Joe Jurisevic addresses the crowd. Scott Sawyer


THE question and answer session has started, with Mayor Tony Wellington defending Noosa Biosphere funding, claiming a 3:1 return on investment.

He's also stepped up to defend the split of funding to the hinterland, declaring only 22 per cent of rates revenue came from the hinterland, and the coast was in fact subsidising the hinterland.

Mayoral candidate Clare Stewart has also declared she would absolutely not support high rise developments.

Future Noosa candidate David Fletcher has also clarified the nature of the team, telling the crowd the trio of candidates had come together to pool resources, but the team would cease as soon as election day came, with the candidates to, if elected, be truly independent.


THE introductions are flowing, with plenty of big visions coming to the fore.

Phil Moran had the laughs flowing early, with some self-deprecation delivered beautifully, before he went on to outline his credentials.

The Noosa Plan, Noosa River and Noosa Biosphere loom as massive issues that will decide the election, while short-term accommodation has been raised by numerous councillors.

Future Noosa, Clare Stewart and Tony Wellington supporters are out in numbers too, with plenty of bright coloured team shirts in the crowd tonight.


WE ARE underway at the Noosa Council election forum tonight, with a packed house present.

Mayor Tony Wellington has made his pitch, as has challenger Clare Stewart, while council hopefuls are now making their one-minute pitch to a packed house at the Noosa Christian Outreach Church.

Incumbent Councillor Jess Glasgow has also taken to the podium, poking fun of himself, as he spoke of a hope for the new council to shift direction slightly in the next term.

Clare Stewart and Tony Wellington are in the race to be the next Noosa Mayor. The candidates will join a host of other Noosa Council hopefuls in an election forum tonight.
Clare Stewart and Tony Wellington are in the race to be the next Noosa Mayor. The candidates will join a host of other Noosa Council hopefuls in an election forum tonight.

Tune in from 6.30pm on this website as the candidates answer questions from the public, as well as from community and business groups.

Voters head to the polls on Saturday, March 28 and early voting opens on March 16.