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Noosa heads to polls

A Big Bob-style landslide is not on the cards.
A Big Bob-style landslide is not on the cards.

TOMORROW'S mayoral vote on the Sunshine Coast for Noosa locals may seem harder than picking a clean sweep in the footy tipping competition four seasons running.

The possible Coast make-or-break selection is made tougher because it really comes down to choosing the "player of the match" out of a mostly unfamiliar pack.

Though serving council major projects portfolio head Councillor Debbie Blumel would beg to differ, voters must place their trust in untested political leadership until March 2016.

The chosen one will have to steer a regional council through the minefield of Caloundra South rapid urbanisation, cost-of-living hikes and development pressures that seem more urgent when quite a few economic vital signals are spluttering along.

For many in Noosa the election will be just as much about trying to have someone at the top who will not stand in the way - and even encourage - the Campbell Newman State Government's promise to implement a boundary review with a vote on Noosa de-amalgamation in the wings.

There are eight candidates but not one of them comes from Noosa, like outgoing Mayor Bob Abbot. Last time voters had the luxury of Big Bob to lean towards in helping safeguard local values.

One thing about tomorrow seems certain - Big Bob's landslide victory is not on the cards.

This time at least three of the front runners, in former council events manager Michael Bloyce of Buderim, ex- media company CEO Mark Jamieson of Buderim and Brett Winkler ex-Coast Sea Eagles rugby league boss of Mudjimba, are selling their business acumen and people skills as major mayoral assets.

Fellow candidate and former coast business person of the year Kim Edwards is their female alternative.

Maroochy pharmacist Warren Blee is pushing an economic revival through a "vote for me" and I'll create and keep jobs here campaign.

Half the candidates hitched their electoral wagon to the "good foundation" of Cr Abbot and his council, but insisted it was now time to build on that solid start.

Mr Bloyce, a past LNP supporter, gave the council a serve for being "on the wrong economic track" while Ms Edwards said the Coast could not have a sustainable environment unless it had a strong economy.

Former Labor candidate Cr Blumel is pushing her council experience as a winning edge, coupled with claims of delivering a sustainable Coast.

In the past she has clashed with Noosa-based Councillor Russell Green and Cr Abbot and has flip-flopped on Noosa de-amalgamation by saying she would support Noosa's breakaway, then voting for all of the Coast to have a say.

Topics:  de-amalgamation, debbie blumel, local government elections


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